Suu Kyi’s party loses support from ethnic minorities

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Myanmar’s de-facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi saw loyalty for her National League for Democracy (NLD) party weakening in ethnic minority areas, particularly those that helped boost the NLD’s 2015 general election victory, the result of by-elections held on April 1 showed.

She could, however, retain support in her stronghold Yangon.

The NLD now takes eight of 12 seats for the combined upper houses of the national parliament, but it won only one of seven seats at stake in state assembles, where ethnic-focused parties performed strongly. The party faced most losses in more remote areas, including in ethnic minority regions where ethnic violence has continued despite Suu Kyi’s promise to bring peace after decades of strife.

The combined national and state assembly seat totals showed the NLD winning nine, the Shan Nationalities League for Democracy six, the military-backed Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) two and the Arakan National Party and the All Nationalities Democracy Party one apiece.

The Shan party represents the biggest of the ethnic minorities, and the by-elections it won were held to fill seats where polling could not be held in 2015 because of unrest.

In Rakhine state, the Arakan National Party’s seat was won by its chairman, Aye Maung, who is an outspoken critic on behalf of his Rakhine ethnic group in its sometimes violent communal struggle with the Muslim Rohingya ethnic minority.

An embarrassing defeat happened in the southern state of Mon, where the NLD lost a lower house seat to its main opposition, the USDP.

The by-elections followed a period in which Suu Kyi has struggled to match sky-high expectations after her 2015 election victory. Last week, she even suggested to step down if people are not satisfied with her governing style.

 

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Reading Time: 1 minute

Myanmar’s de-facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi saw loyalty for her National League for Democracy (NLD) party weakening in ethnic minority areas, particularly those that helped boost the NLD’s 2015 general election victory, the result of by-elections held on April 1 showed.

Reading Time: 1 minute

Myanmar’s de-facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi saw loyalty for her National League for Democracy (NLD) party weakening in ethnic minority areas, particularly those that helped boost the NLD’s 2015 general election victory, the result of by-elections held on April 1 showed.

She could, however, retain support in her stronghold Yangon.

The NLD now takes eight of 12 seats for the combined upper houses of the national parliament, but it won only one of seven seats at stake in state assembles, where ethnic-focused parties performed strongly. The party faced most losses in more remote areas, including in ethnic minority regions where ethnic violence has continued despite Suu Kyi’s promise to bring peace after decades of strife.

The combined national and state assembly seat totals showed the NLD winning nine, the Shan Nationalities League for Democracy six, the military-backed Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) two and the Arakan National Party and the All Nationalities Democracy Party one apiece.

The Shan party represents the biggest of the ethnic minorities, and the by-elections it won were held to fill seats where polling could not be held in 2015 because of unrest.

In Rakhine state, the Arakan National Party’s seat was won by its chairman, Aye Maung, who is an outspoken critic on behalf of his Rakhine ethnic group in its sometimes violent communal struggle with the Muslim Rohingya ethnic minority.

An embarrassing defeat happened in the southern state of Mon, where the NLD lost a lower house seat to its main opposition, the USDP.

The by-elections followed a period in which Suu Kyi has struggled to match sky-high expectations after her 2015 election victory. Last week, she even suggested to step down if people are not satisfied with her governing style.

 

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