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Burma NLD Claims Aung San Suu Kyi Election Victory

Daniel Schearf

Burma's parliamentary and by- elections

  • 45 seats in the national legislature are being contested.
  • 160 candidates from 17 parties and eight independents are running.
  • Legislature comprised of 440 seat lower house, 224 seat senate, 14 regional assemblies.
  • 25 percent of seats chosen by armed forces commander and reserved for military personnel.
  • The Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) won 76 percent of the vote in 2010.
  • Constitution limits lawmakers' powers.

The party of Burma's democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she has won her bid for a seat in parliament despite voting irregularities in Sunday's by-election. 

Aung San Suu Kyi's supporters celebrated at her National League for Democracy headquarters after the party announced she won.

Lawyer Daw Nwe Ni Aung says she believes the woman known affectionately as “The Lady” will make life better in Burma when she enters parliament. “I believe she will do the best things for the people.  She will fulfill the requirements of the people who have suffered so much," she said.

Hotel worker Yamin says only Aung San Suu Kyi can meet Burma's needs. “I believe all thing she said during her campaign.  I believe she will do all that she said," he said.

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Despite the early celebration from NLD supporters, there were allegations of voting irregularities. Ma Mee Mee is with a civil society group monitoring the vote. "All over the country there are people who cannot vote although they are registered. There are additional votes, which is people who have voted twice, faulty ballots with wax on them, dead people who have voted," he said.

Suzanne DiMaggio, Vice President of Global Policy Programs at the Asia Society, says the NLD victory is the “beginning of something that will only grow.” She spoke with VOA’s Ira Mellman.

Aung San Suu Kyi and the NLD did not take part in the flawed 2010 election as the military government that ruled Burma kept her under house arrest.

But her release and the surprising reforms from Burma's military-backed government raise hopes that she can work toward democracy alongside those who for decades suppressed it.

A Look at some of major political parties for the April 1st by-election:

National League for Democracy


  • Aung San Suu Kyi's party was founded in 1988 after a popular uprising
  • Won the 1990 parliamentary elections in a landslide but results never recognized by the military regime
  • Boycotted 2010 elections and was stripped of legal party status
  • Contesting 44 seats

Union Solidarity and Development Party


  • Current ruling party
  • Formed by current President Thein Sein and other members of military junta
  • Won vast majority in 2010 election
  • Contesting all 45 seats
  • It will retain its majority in parliament regardless of the results

National Democratic Force


  • Formed by breakaway NLD members
  • Won several seats in the 2010 election
  • Contesting about 10 seats

Shan Nationalities League for Democracy


  • The second largest winning party in the 1990 elections
  • Boycotted the 2010 elections
  • Often sides with Aung San Suu Kyi's NLD party

Shan Nationalities Democratic Party


  • Widely known as the White Tiger Party
  • Won 57 seats in the 2010 elections
  • Contesting seats in only a handful of constituencies

National Unity Party


  • Formed bythe military junta and members of the former Burma Socialist Program Party
  • Defeated badly by the NLD in 1990 elections
  • Fielded the second highest number of candidates in the 2010 election but defeated badly again

Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP.

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Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: TuanAnhDAO
April 01, 2012 9:12 AM
I hope that Burma will become a developping nation in South East Asia under leading to Kyi's goverment.


by: july
April 01, 2012 7:02 AM
yeah ... i m so glad to this new ...


by: khin su wai
April 01, 2012 6:02 AM
congratulation may may su


by: LV
March 31, 2012 11:44 PM
Hope she wins.


by: T
March 31, 2012 7:50 AM
Long time comin, Good for her and the people of burma..


by: joseph roberts
March 31, 2012 3:57 AM
I wish her best of luck, hope she wins.

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