What the NLD Election Victory Means for Myanmar’s Civilian-Military Divide

cc Chuck Moravec, Flickr, modified, https://www.flickr.com/photos/21822583@N08/13593187883/in/photolist-mHbDbk-6xWakx-dtNuZq-bDVHE4-bshMrt-6y1eQj-6xW6fD-6y1mzm-6xWbsK-6y1kx3-8gSN9R-eDCHbf-SZnSzL-48zeer-aaUB9J-aaUBRU-buLT91-dY8PeM-48DfLs-gUCP8i-dtNA3b-gUt6cR-6y1x8N-6xWsHP-6y1uim-6xWtwv-6y1yiw-6xWnFn-chEgVf-6xWrHV-chEgD9-6QqQmC-6xW7TB-gUCP8D-aRSnWa-6y1wcq-DwnfnZ-dcyDC9-aFuKTg-ciGSif-ei1Fsk-ciAcbs-ei7qW1-ba62CF-dWsFzC-84Bj7y-h93C5i-6Q7B6m-hhKPAB-hhL6Gd

As widely predicted, in Myanmar’s election on 9 November, Aung San Suu Kyi’s ruling National League for Democracy (NLD) repeated its feat of 2015 and won a landslide victory, taking 396 of the 476 seats being contested in the national legislature. Though another 166 seats in parliament are constitutionally reserved for Myanmar’s powerful armed forces, known as the Tatmadaw, the military-aligned Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) performed poorly against the NLD and suffered losses at the ballot box.

In the days after the poll, the USDP lodged unsubstantiated complaints of electoral fraud and pushed for a re-run of the vote. The claims were strongly denied by the NLD and delegitimized by the Union Election Commission (UEC), which said the poll was conducted ‘freely and fairly’ and in a ‘transparent’ manner, with no evidence of irregularities. The Tatmadaw has also distanced itself from the allegations, recognizing that its uneasy five-year alliance based on accommodation with the NLD has become Myanmar’s new normal.


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