Nobel Peace Prize laureate (1991) Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, who was released from house arrest by the Myanmar’s ruling military in 2010, has won in the by-elections held today for 45 vacant parliamentary seats, it’s being said.
Although no official confirmation came from the government, Suu Kyi’s party, National League for Democracy (NLD) claimed that she has won the Kawhmu seat. Official announcement is expected on Monday, April 2.
Suu Kyi, 66, co-founded the NLD, a pro-democracy political party that sought to counter the military junta that has ruled Myanmar since 1962.[ Also Read: Is it the Death of Democracy in India? ]
For nearly 15 of the past 22 years, Suu Kyi has endured unofficial detention, house arrest and restrictions on her movement. Under international pressure on Myanmar’s military regime, she was released in November 2010 and allowed to move freely in Myanmar (a.k.a. Burma).
In 1990, the NLD won 80 percent of the parliamentary seats in a general election. However, the military junta refused to transfer power to Suu Kyi and her party. Rather, scores of political activists were jailed to suppress their voice.
However, under increasing democratic pressure and to avoid international sanctions against it, this time the Myanmar government led by President Thein Sein reluctantly allowed observers from ASEAN (Association of South East Asian Nations) to supervise the election process in order to ensure free and fair elections.
Although the results in today’s election that was held on 45 of the 664-seat parliament are not going to change any power situation in Myanmar, these are being viewed as a foretaste of the all-important elections due in 2015.