Can Aung Suu Kyi Finally Become President?
Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) has won the elections in Myanmar.
It is a remarkable win for the Nobel Peace Price laureate, who had been detained under house arrest by the country’s military regime for a total of almost 15 years between 1989 and 2010. Her party had won the general elections in 1990 with 81% of votes.
Latest projections now give her as many as 80 % of all parliamentary seats, enough to try for a constitutional makeover. Still today, 25% of seats in the parliament are reserved for the military.
Due to a constitutional amendment Suu Kyi is prohibited from becoming president because her husband and her children are British nationals. She needs the support of at least one military legislator to change the constitution, reduce the military’s role in politics, and ascend to the presidency.
The elections were the first truly free elections in 25 years. The voter turnout is estimated at 80 percent.
Both president Thein Sein and military commander in chief Min Aung Hlaing have promised to respect the voter’s will. On prominent party official, who lost his seat to a NDL candidate has already conceded defeat, maybe a signal that a real transformation is within reach.
Suu Kyi is now facing erroneous challenges. Myanmar is one of the poorest countries in the world and corruption is rampant
Before the election she has announced that she will be “above the president”, even if she was unsuccessful to overturn section 436 of the constitution. This amendment gives the military veto power over all political decisions and could still stop her from becoming president.