Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) has swept Burma’s general election and will hold a majority of seats in parliament which will allow it to form a new government next year.
Today’s midday announcement by the Union Election Commission (UEC) awarded the NLD victories in an additional 21 Lower House seats. This gives Suu Kyi a total of 348 seats in the bicameral parliament, comprising both the Upper and Lower Houses. The ‘magic number’ the NLD had been aiming at was either 328 or 329 seats, which would represent a 67 percent share of the vote, but more importantly a 51 percent share of the seats in the Union Parliament – the military being constitutionally entitled to 25 percent of representatives in both houses.
The NLD has now far outstripped that target.
Suu Kyi has pre-empted victory by requesting talks with President Thein Sein, Commander-in-Chief Snr-Gen Min Aung Hlaing and House Speaker Shwe Mann.
In the meantime, both houses – which the NLD control – must appoint a presidential nominee. The military will nominate a third candidate. The current parliament dissolves on 30 January 2016, after which the new government succeeds. Its first step is a vote to select a new president and two vice-presidents. The next government will not sit in parliament until 1 April.
A statement by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon congratulated the people of Burma last night.
“The Secretary-General warmly congratulates the people of Myanmar for their peaceful, dignified and enthusiastic participation in the historic elections of 8 November. He welcomes this as a significant achievement in Myanmar’s democratic transition. He acknowledges, in particular, the courage and vision of President Thein Sein whose leadership in the reform process has helped achieve progress to this defining stage. The Secretary-General also commends the Union Election Commission, political parties, domestic and international observers and all others who tirelessly contributed to making these elections such a significant success. While saying this, he is regretfully aware that a large number of voters from minority communities, in particular the Rohingya, were denied the right to vote and some were disqualified as candidates.” he said in a statement from New York.
“The Secretary-General extends his warm congratulations to the National League for Democracy (NLD) and Daw Aung San Suu Kyi for their landmark performance at the elections and to the Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) for its dignified acceptance of the verdict of the people. The Army’s support to the conduct of credible and transparent elections as well as its acceptance of the results, have also been uniquely important.”
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