Myanmar is set to script a new chapter in its history, with the first democratically elected government after the 1960s set to be formed after a historic election. While the final results are yet to be declared, latest updates show iconic pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi’s NLD party winning a landslide.
Unofficial reports say the NLD has won around 82 percent of the upper house and lower house seats, crossing the required two-third majority. As per the official results of the 88 seats declared in the lower house, the NLD has won 78 of them and of the 33 seats declared in the upper house NLD has won 29. Ms Suu Kyi, who is a Noble peace prize winner, has been relentlessly crusading for democracy in Myanmar for years. She was also under arrest for many years.
This is the first-ever free elections held in Myanmar after decades of military rule. The NLD’s victory will not, however, help Ms Suu Kyi in becoming president due to the clause in the constitution which prevents her from assuming this position. According to chapter 3, no 59(f) of the Myanmar constitution, the president must be someone who “he himself, one of the parents, the spouse, one of the legitimate children or their spouses not owe allegiance to a foreign power”. “[They shall] not be subject of a foreign power or citizen of a foreign country … [or] be persons entitled to enjoy the rights and privileges of a subject of a foreign government or citizen of a foreign country,” it states. Ms Suu Kyi is married to a British citizen and has two children, who are also British citizens.
Amending the constitution won’t be easy since 25 percent of the seats in both houses are reserved for the military as per the constitution. According to various media reports, the decision on a president will be decided only in February after voting in the two houses takes place.
The world has lauded Myanmar’s elections and appreciated it for conducting its first democratic election in years. The moment is truly historic for Aung San Suu Kyi who has fought most of her life for a democratic country and the results vindicate her commitment to the cause.
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