February 2016

Asia Newsflash

The National League for Democracy (NLD) won a landslide victory in Myanmar’s general election on 8 November, taking almost 80% of the contested seats. The party, led by Aung San Suu Kyi, now has an outright majority in both legislative chambers. This gives the NLD the power to control law-making and select the president, although the immensely popular Suu Kyi is constitutionally barred from taking the position. The coming months will be a testing time for the NLD and Myanmar’s nascent democracy – the process of installing a new government will not be resolved until March. The question of who will become president is unresolved: there are suggestions that Suu Kyi will lean towards a low-key figure such as her personal doctor, Tin Myo Win. The military would favour a more experienced and potentially loyal operator. Whoever is appointed will require deft diplomatic skills to work with both Suu Kyi and the military to tackle myriad challenges within Myanmar and beyond.

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