Wed, Nov 11, 2015 - Page 1 News List

Aung San Suu Kyi says she will make decisions

Reuters, YANGON and MANDALAY, Myanmar

A huge crowd gathers outside the headquarters of the National League of Democracy party displaying a huge portrait of opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi in Yangon, Myanmar, on Monday night.

Photo: AFP

Myanmar democracy champion Aung San Suu Kyi yesterday made it clear that she was ready to defy the powerful military’s attempts to clip her wings, as fresh results from Sunday’s historic election showed her party heading for a resounding win.

As vote tallies trickled in, Aung San Suu Kyi’s long-oppressed National League for Democracy (NLD) looked set to take control of most regional assemblies, as well as forming the central government, a triumph that will reshape the political landscape.

Under the constitution drawn up by Myanmar’s former junta, Aung San Suu Kyi is barred from taking the presidency because her children are foreign nationals, a clause few doubt was inserted specifically to rule her out.

However, in two interviews yesterday, the Nobel peace laureate said that, whoever was appointed president, she would call the shots.

She told the BBC that she would be “making all the decisions as the leader of the winning party” and Channel News Asia that the next president would have “no authority.”

The ruling Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP), which was created by the junta and is led by retired soldiers, has conceded defeat in a poll that was a milestone on Myanmar’s rocky path from dictatorship to democracy.

The NLD said its tally of results posted at polling stations showed it was on track to take more than two-thirds of the seats that were contested in parliament, enough to form Myanmar’s first democratically elected government since the 1960s.

The party would win more than 250 of the 330 seats not occupied by the military in the lower house of parliament, NLD spokesman Win Htein predicted yesterday.

The election commission said the NLD had won 78 of the 88 seats declared so far in the 440-strong lower house. No seats have been declared in the upper house.

Official results also showed that Sunday’s election had handed the NLD a landslide win in the battle for regional assemblies.

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