Information about Democracy in MyanmarMyanmar democracy information
Statement | A Milestone for Myanmar's Democracy
In Myanmar, democracy could at last prevail. This is evidenced by a devastating win by Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and her political group last Sunday in the country's first free elections in a quarter-century - a sentence so crucial that the army, which in 1990 declined to agree to similar results and placed Mrs Aung San Suu Kyi under domestic detention for 15 years, has pointed out that it will not intervene this year.
Although the counting is not exhaustive, provisional figures suggest that their National League for Democracy has won the most places in the top chamber of parliament and holds the highest number of votes in local assembly. Burma is still at the beginning of a delicate shift from an insulated army to a more open world.
Peaceful success will be a major challenges both for the leaders of the countries for many years and for Aung San Suu Kyi. An obstacle is that her political parties will rule the parliament and the government, while three large and mighty departments - interior, defence and frontier protection - will stay under the war.
In 1962, the colonels, who came to office after toppling a civil regime, made sure that they had written a new constitution in 2008 to get these three leverages under control. Aung San Suu Kyi, Nobel Prize winner, is also prevented from becoming Aung San Suu Kyi's role as she is a foreigner by the 2008 constitution.
Nevertheless, she has dismissed the constitution as "very stupid" and claims that she will "make all decisions" behind the curtains. This implies that the next speaker will be a conformist member of her political group and the constitution can be ignored. However, the successful development of Myanmar's democracy will be dependent on Aung San Suu Kyi working with the army, which constitutionally guarantees 25 per cent of parliamentary seat.
Changes in the constitution that would bring safety departments under civil oversight and allow them to run for the office of presidency call for the backing of 75 per cent of parliament. Simplistic arithmetics say that their ambition depends on getting along with the general. Sunday's elections brought a new realities to Myanmar; to maximise them, Aung San Suu Kyi needs all the help she can get.