Myanmar’s Historical Elections

History has been made in Myanmar. For the past five decades they have been under military rule. The last free elections were held in 1990 but the results were overturned when the military leadership decided against it.

The winner of the most recent elections is the party of Aung San Suu Kyi, The National League for Democracy. Aung San Suu Kyi has been under house arrest for almost 15 years after her party’s last win in 1990, and the constitution states that she specifically cannot be president, but since her party has won she has more power than she use to.

While the military has given up a significant amount of power, it stills retains quite a bit. The military will still hold 25 percent of the seats in parliament.  Democracy has made significant strides, the restrictions imposed but the military will bar them from making any changes to the constitution. (They need more than 75 percent of parliament to make any changes to the constitution)

There are also some restrictions that make it difficult to decide who will be the president. both houses of the parliament and the military will suggest candidates. While this election did open the door for democracy, Myanmar still has a long way to go. They are struggling economically and many positions in the government will need to be negotiated. Suu Kyi’s leadership and negotiation skills with the military will definitely come into play in the coming months and years.

While the elections were mostly fair, there where still some people who were not allowed to run, most of them Muslims. Myanmar has been under the rule of very firm Buddhists. Only four percent of the nation are considered to be muslims but the representation they once had in parliament was lost.There were also many muslims that weren’t allowed to vote. The government has been trying to keep Buddhism front and center in front of any other religion.

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