When did Myanmar became DemocraticHow long has Myanmar become democratic?
Four elements of democratic change in Myanmar
At the beginning of this months Nay Pyi Taw, a panel enabled those participating in Myanmar's crossover to address some of the key questions that still need to be dealt with. The Democratic Change in Myanmar NGO was inaugurated in Naypyitaw on 11 August. The Ministry of Information funded event gathered those making the switch, legislators, policy makers, Tatmadaw members, academics, scientists, research scientists and academics from Myanmar and abroad.
Councillor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi gave the opening address. Even though the panel was largely free and open, the debate on how and why democratic change took place was not discussed. In retrospect to the year 2015, the Union Electoral Commission established by President U Thein Sein stated that the elections would take place in November.
However, as the times approached, they circulated the message that the elections would be delayed to measure the level of feedback from the population. Given the previous conduct of Myanmar's rulers, however, citizens had doubts whether the elections would actually take place. Even if it were, would it be free and equitable?
Would the victorious side be permitted to make a coalition - would the tyrants really hand over control? However, to the astonishment of the Myanmar population and the wider world, the National League for Democracy, headed by Aung San Suu Kyi, won the elections in a muddle. First, Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army forces under Pheung Kya-Shin's leadership assaulted and raided the Kokang area in early 2015.
When China was isolating itself from the global population, it was a powerful coalition partner of the army regimes politically and economically. Ex-chancellors and Tatmadaw chiefs knew that if they ignored the 2015 results - as in 1990 - they would again be cut off from the global body and would therefore have to look for Chinese back.
The Tatmadaw are thought to have therefore chosen not to go down the 1990 path and instead to recognise the 2015 electoral results. A further important element was the great division within the Union Solidarity and Development Party. The division was a key contributor to the USDP's appalling electoral failure.
Much of the NLD's success was due to the fact that the elections were free and level. USoe-Thein, a secretary for the presidential office, had allowed anonymous monitors to oversee the electoral proces. UEC, headed by former General U Tin Aye, could not tamper with the results.
This has all helped to ensure a free and equitable vote in 2015. Aung San Suu Kyi's electoral strategies and her tireless efforts were the last but probably most important factors in the NLD's electoral victor. Tatmadaw's slippery defeat and acknowledgement of the outcome of the elections marked the beginning of the democratic reforms that the NLD had embarked upon.
All of these elements have not led to Myanmar's democratic transformation, neither through the overthrow of democratic powers of the dictator nor through those in authority who are willing to carry out democratic reforms. Therefore, there is no assurance that the Myanmar regime will not be revived. There is no assurance that the democratic process will be smooth and harmless, whatever the situation.
Myanmar's successful transformation will depend on the total elimination of the basic powers that could lead to a resumption of tyranny.