Myanmar opposition wins majority in Parliamentary polls


Myanmar’s main opposition National League for Democracy party, led by Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, has won majority in the Parliamentary polls and the right to form a new government independently in the south Asian nation ruled by an isolationist military junta.

Announcing the results on Friday, the fifth day of the vote-count, the Union Election Commission said NLD had so far won 238 of the 330 contested seats in the 440-member Lower House while 110 of its nominees had been declared elected on 168 contested seats in the 224-member Upper House of Parliament.

Myanmar’s bicameral Parliament has a 25 percent reserved quota for nominees of the military junta. The elections were held on Sunday.

Winning a total of 348 seats so far in the two houses of the union Parliament, the NLD also swept most of the seats in the Region or State Parliaments — dominating not only major cities like Nay Pyi Taw, Yangon and Mandalay, but also areas inhabited by ethnic groups, Xinhua news agency reported.

The Parliamentary poll results signified that the NLD can lead not only in the central Union Parliament and central Union government, but also in the Region or State Parliaments and the Region or State governments.

Myanmar is divided into 21 administrative subdivisions, which include seven states, seven regions, six self-administered zones and one self-administered division.

Each State and Region has a State legislature or Regional legislature made up of elected civilian members and representatives of the Armed Forces. The two forms of legislatures combined have 882 seats.

According to the updated election result, the NLD had so far secured a total of 749 seats at the three levels of the country’s Parliament — winning 238 seats in the House of Representatives (Lower House) out of 298 for which results have been declared; 110 in the House of Nationalities (Upper House) out of 133 results declared; and 401 in the various Region or State Parliaments out of 522 results declared.

The ruling Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) had so far won 102 seats — 28 in the House of Representatives, 12 in the House of Nationalities, and 62 in the Region or State Parliaments.

The remaining parliamentary seats for which results had so far been declared went to several ethnic parties and independents.

The Shan National League for Democracy (SNLD) took the most at 40, followed by the Arakan National Party (ANP), Taaung National Party and Pa-O National Organisation (PNO).

A total of 970 results had so far been declared at the three levels of Parliament in Sunday’s election and the election commission was expected to complete the vote-count in a couple of days.

Under the Myanmar constitution, elected representatives take up 75 percent of the seats at each level of Parliament. The remaining 25 percent are reserved for representatives non-elected and directly-nominated by the military.

The constitution also prevents Suu Kyi from becoming the country’s president due to her family status which involves the foreign citizenship of her children.

However, it does not have much strict restrictions over the qualification of the parliamentary speaker.

Despite possessing the rights to nominate a president of the next government, the NLD is yet to disclose the person selected for the presidency.

Meanwhile, leaders of the current government, military and the ruling party have all openly voiced acceptance of the decision of the voters, promising to transfer power within the set time-frame and cooperate for a peaceful and stable transition.

Myanmar’s historic general election was held peacefully on November 8, with 6,038 candidates competing for more than 1,000 Parliamentary seats.

The first session of the new Parliament is expected to take place in January 2016, followed by the election of a new president in February and formation of a new government in March.

The present term of the government will expire at the end of March 2016.