Yesterday, Myanmar’s government confirmed that dissident leader Aung San Suu Kyi and her party , the National League for Democracy, won a sweeping victory in the nation’s weekend by-elections. National state radio and television reported that Ms. Suu Kyi’s party won 43 of the 45 open parliamentary seats.
Calling the results a “a triumph of the people” Suu Kyi’s party won a victory that marks an important turn for her political career and for her nation as it emerges from a half-century of military rule.
Change in Myanmar began in November 2010, when then-new President Thein Sein instituted a set of national reforms. One important element of these reforms included engaging in a dialogue with Nobel Prize winning opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi and releasing her from a nearly decade-long house arrest.
These election results will not, however, alter the balance of Mynamar’s parliament given that only a small number of seats were contested. Regardless, the the vote is seen as a harbinger for potential social change and as a key indicator of the current ruling generals commitment to continuing reforms.
U.S. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton cautiously praised the outcome of the by-election, saying “It’s too early to know what recent progress means and whether it will be sustained.”