Its almost Official as Ang San Suu Kyi sweeps Myanmar;s election


Official reports have indicated that a near total sweep by Ang San Suu Kyi party. Union Election Commission said she won 54,676 votes in Kawhmu, which is part of Yangon state.

Myanmar's opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi has won her parliamentary seat, official results showed Wednesday, leading a near total sweep by her party that will give the country its first government in decades that isn't under the military's sway.

Suu Kyi, however, will not become the president, at least not for now, because of a constitutional hurdle inserted by the junta when it transferred power in 2011 to a quasi-civilian government. And while Myanmar's people voted overwhelmingly to remove the military-backed party from power, it's also clear that the military's involvement in this Southeast Asian nation's politics would not end.

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The military, which took power in a 1962 coup and brutally suppressed several pro-democracy uprisings during its rule, gave way to a nominally civilian elected government in 2011 with strings attached.

The army installed retired senior officers in the ruling party to fill Cabinet posts and granted itself constitutional powers, including control of powerful ministries and a quarter of seats in the 664-member two-chamber Parliament. In a state of emergency, a special military-led body can even assume state powers. Another provision bars Suu Kyi from the presidency because her sons hold foreign citizenship.

Right now, though, the focus is on the stunning, if not yet official, victory of Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy party over the ruling Union Solidarity and Development Party.

The Union Election Commission announced 63 more results for Parliament's lower house on Wednesday, which included Suu Kyi's name as the victor from Kawhmu, which is part of Yangon state.

It said she won 54,676 votes without giving more details of how many the losing ruling party candidate won or how many eligible voters were in the constituency.

Of the remaining 60 seats, the NLD won 56 seats, and USDP won three.

That brings to 135 the number of seats won by NLD out of the 151 lower house seats announced so far. For the upper house, the NLD has won 29 out of 33 announced..

When the former ruling junta drew up the 2008 constitution, he said, "they built a political structure that keeps Aung San Suu Kyi out of the presidency and locks in their influence and prerogatives, with things like 25 per cent of the seats reserved for the military, a 75 per cent approval bar to amend the constitution, no legislative scrutiny of military budgets, and ensuring only military men can lead the most powerful ministries, like Defense, Home Affairs and Border Affairs."

Because the military still controls important political decisions, said Toe Kyaw Hlaing, an independent political analyst in Myanmar, the NLD and other political parties have to cooperate with the military.

Suu Kyi told the BBC she does not expect the army to steal away her party's election victory, as it did in 1990.

"They've been saying repeatedly they'll respect the will of the people and that they will implement the results of the election," she said, adding Myanmar's citizens are now politically more aware and that new forms of communications serve a watchdog function.

If the NLD secures a two-thirds majority of the Parliamentary seats at stake a likely scenario now it would gain control over the executive posts under Myanmar's complicated parliamentary-presidency system.

The military and the largest parties in the upper house and the lower house will each nominate a candidate for president. After January 31, all 664 legislators will cast ballots and the top vote-getter will become president, while the other two will be vice presidents.