Opposition Party Headed For Win In Myanmar’s First Free Election In 25 Years

· Nov. 10, 2015, 12:07 am

The party of opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi is headed for an election sweep in the country’s first openly contested election in 25 years.

As the results came in, the National League for Democracy party claimed overwhelming victory according to news reports. A decisive win could ensure that Suu Kyi’s party is able to form the next government.

According to the BBC, “official results have been released for only 54 seats, with 48 won by the NLD.”

“I think you all have the idea of the results,” Suu Kyi is quoted as saying by the news organization.

Winning the presidency and Parliament would give the National League for Democracy control over “legislation, economic policy and foreign relations. But the constitution guarantees that the military will keep control of the ministries of defense, interior and border security,” the Associated Press reports.

Still, it would be the first time a democratic government was in charge since former junta members took power 50 years ago.

“We lost,” Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) acting chairman Htay Oo told Reuters one day after the elections. The USDP is backed by the military, which still retains considerable government influence in the country.

The United States congratulated Myanmar on the election, with White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest calling the process a “meaningful, competitive election” and an “important step in Burma’s democratic reform process.”

Earnest pointed out, however, that there are still “structural and systemic flaws” in Myanmar’s system, like the law preventing Suu Kyi from becoming president because she has children who were born in another country.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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