After Suu Kyi Victory, Myanmar Hopes for ‘Peaceful Transfer of Power’


Myanmar’s President Thein Sein acknowledged the victory of Nobel Laureate Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s party, the National League for Democracy (NLD), in the country’s recent elections. 

“I, on the behalf of President U Thein Sein, want to congratulate Aung San Suu Kyi and the NLD for their success in the election and wishing they can fulfil the desire of the Myanmar people for the big change in the future,” said Minister for Information and a presidential spokesperson Ye Htut.

On Wednesday evening, the commission had announced official results for 298 of the 491 (lower house) seats contested in the Nov 8 election. Of those, the NLD won 256 and the ruling party – Union Solidarity Development Party (USDP) won 21.

The military appoints 166 out of the 664 seats in the two houses of Parliament.

A message from the President’s office on Facebook said, “the government will respect and follow the people’s choice and decision, and work on transferring power peacefully according to the timetable.”

The new Parliament is expected to meet only in 2016 and select a new president around March.

According to NLD’s Facebook page, Ms. Suu Kyi has sent similar letters to the President, the Speaker of the lower house of Parliament and the Commander in Chief of the military, requesting talks on national reconciliation.

“It is crucial for the dignity of the nation that the people’s will, which was shown in the election of Nov. 8, be truly implemented in a peaceful and stable manner,” she wrote in the letter, which was dated Tuesday.

The Chief of NLD won a seat in Yangon, the city also known as Rangoon, and yet, she can’t become the country’s President. The constitution drafted by the military prevents anyone with foreign family members from assuming the office. Her late husband was British.

But the ruling party, which is the political arm of the military, has been thrown into a tizzy by her comments.

“The president will be told exactly what he can do,” she said. “I make all the decisions because I am the leader of the winning party.”

“We are not going in for vengeance,” she added. She has also vowed to, “uphold the parts of the Constitution that are good.”

The State department described Sunday’s elections as “an important step forward”.

“A peaceful post-election period is crucial for stability and maintaining the confidence of the people in the credibility of the electoral process and the overall political transition,” U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said in a statement.

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