Monday, November 9, 2015

The Democratic Opposition Wins the Burmese Parliamentary Elections

In Burma’s first free and fair parliamentary elections since 1990, the democratic opposition defeated the civilian transition government that was backed by the former military junta, which had ruled for the last five years since the last elections were boycotted by the opposition for lack of freedom. 

Unlike in 1990, however, the ruling party has conceded the results.  Although the military is constitutionally guaranteed a large segment of seats in the Burmese Parliament, the dictatorial military junta will not rule Burma, directly or indirectly, for the first time since 1962.  The ruling party it supports, which won only a minority of seats, will be in the opposition.  The concession of the election results by the ruling party sets up a transition toward representative government.  The Parliament will nominate three candidates for President; the two unsuccessful nominees will become vice presidents.  Although beloved opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, whose party had won the nullified 1990 elections, is prohibited by law from serving as President, she will nevertheless exercise leadership over her party and country.  Much international pressure had been exerted on the Burmese dictatorship over the last several years to loosen its grip on power and allow basic freedoms and fair elections.

Liberty and representative government were the main platform of the opposition.  Minority rights will be a concern for Burma’s many ethnic groups, especially its ostracized Muslim minority.  

I congratulate the people of Burma and wish them success in enjoying the fruits of liberty.  May they govern themselves, including all of the minorities who dwell within Burmese borders, well and peacefully.  May Burma serve as an example of how international economic sanctions and moral suasion can liberate people in even the lands where they have been repressed the longest.  

1 comment:

The Definitive Word said...

Update: Suu Kyi herself won a seat in Parliament, as the ruling party has been nearly completely shout out.