Suu Kyi can choose new Myanmar president

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Suu Kyi with flowersLeader of the National League for Democracy (NLD) Aung San Suu Kyi has won an outright majority in Myanmar’s parliament in the November 8 elections. This enables her party to elect a president and form a government in a historic shift in power from the army.

The country’s election commission stated that the NLD party had won 348 seats across the lower and upper house of parliament, 19 more than the 329 needed for an absolute majority.

Suu Kyi herself is barred from the presidency according to the country’s  junta-scripted constitution, which also guarantees the army a 25 per cent bloc of seats in both houses. The military also has an effective veto over any proposed constitutional changes.

However, Suu Kyi will probably be elected speaker of the lower house, which would entitle her to a seat in the government’s top decision-making body.

She called for “national reconciliation talks” with President Thein Sein and army chief Min Aung Hlaing. Both have congratulated the NLD on its election performance and have vowed to “abide by the result as well as help to achieve a peaceful transition of power.”

Many in the country of 51 million hope the NLD will push through political reforms but also develop the country’s struggling education and health systems, and create jobs in one of Southeast Asia’s poorest nations. Challenges and opportunities for the new government include building democratic institutions and the rule of law, tackling corruption, addressing ethnic and religious intolerance and conflict and building on the current ceasefire agreement, and delivering the economic benefits of the transition to the population.

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Reading Time: 1 minute

Leader of the National League for Democracy (NLD) Aung San Suu Kyi has won an outright majority in Myanmar’s parliament in the November 8 elections. This enables her party to elect a president and form a government in a historic shift in power from the army.

Reading Time: 1 minute

Suu Kyi with flowersLeader of the National League for Democracy (NLD) Aung San Suu Kyi has won an outright majority in Myanmar’s parliament in the November 8 elections. This enables her party to elect a president and form a government in a historic shift in power from the army.

The country’s election commission stated that the NLD party had won 348 seats across the lower and upper house of parliament, 19 more than the 329 needed for an absolute majority.

Suu Kyi herself is barred from the presidency according to the country’s  junta-scripted constitution, which also guarantees the army a 25 per cent bloc of seats in both houses. The military also has an effective veto over any proposed constitutional changes.

However, Suu Kyi will probably be elected speaker of the lower house, which would entitle her to a seat in the government’s top decision-making body.

She called for “national reconciliation talks” with President Thein Sein and army chief Min Aung Hlaing. Both have congratulated the NLD on its election performance and have vowed to “abide by the result as well as help to achieve a peaceful transition of power.”

Many in the country of 51 million hope the NLD will push through political reforms but also develop the country’s struggling education and health systems, and create jobs in one of Southeast Asia’s poorest nations. Challenges and opportunities for the new government include building democratic institutions and the rule of law, tackling corruption, addressing ethnic and religious intolerance and conflict and building on the current ceasefire agreement, and delivering the economic benefits of the transition to the population.

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