Letters and Editorials 2815 Views by Dr. Abdul Ruff

Myanmar Poll: Opposition Wins, Again




The military regime in Myanmar, supported or promoted by the global terrocracies, directly or indirectly, is facing serious crisis after the by-polls on 1 April, resulting in expected swings for the opposition party, National League for Democracy (NLD) led by Aung San Suu Kyi, although the official results for the by-election are expected later this week. At the pro-democracy headquarters in Yangon (Rangoon), unofficial results were announced and party supporters celebrated.

Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi seems to have won her own Kawhmu constituency seat by a handsome margin and has helped to secure victory for a number of her colleagues. She called it a "victory of the people" after her NLD party whose party flag features the peacock, a prominent symbol of Burma, said she had won a seat in the Myanmar parliament. In a statement, 66-year-old Suu Kyi asked supporters to show restraint in their celebrations. "I would like all NLD members to ensure that the victory of the people is a dignified victory," she said. Suu Kyi cautioned that words, behaviour and actions that "can harm and sadden other parties and people" should be avoided.

Pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi addressed a crowd of supporters outside NLD headquarters in Rangoon, Burma's commercial capital. She says she hopes the by-elections marked the start of a new era in Burma.

The vote was seen as a key test of political reforms, though the army and its allies dominate the 664-seat parliament. Aung San Suu Kyi has promised to use her voice to push for further reforms. Calling the polls a "triumph of the people", she said the goal now was reconciliation with other parties. Aung San Suu Kyi's comments "It is not so much our triumph as a triumph of the people who have decided that they have to be involved in the political process in this country," she said.

The by-elections were being held to fill parliamentary seats left vacant by the appointment of ministers after the polls that formally ended military rule in November 2010. A total of 45 seats for the Hluttaw (parliament) contested by 176 candidates from 17 parties, with eight independents. Of these, 129 contested 37 seats in the Pyithu Hluttaw (lower house), while 22 competed for six seats in the Amyotha Hluttaw (upper house). Lower House has 440 seats (330 elected), the Upper House 224 seats (168 elected) and the regional assemblies 14. Before this election, the army-backed Union Solidarity and Development Party dominated with 348 seats; serving soldiers had 166. By-elections fill vacancies of those elected in 2010 polls who became ministers and deputy ministers.

International observers had been allowed to monitor elections in Myanmar for the first time. Over 150 international observers from the European Union, the US, Canada, Australia, India and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) monitored the casting of ballots. During the campaign, foreign journalists and international observers were given the widest access to the former military-ruled nation for years.

Speaking in Cambodia ahead of an Asean summit, Burma's Foreign Minister Wunna Maung Lwin said the polls had been "free, fair and transparent".

Military vs. Opposition

In the 1990 Burmese parliamentary elections, the party took 59% of the vote and won 392 out of 492 contested seats, compared to 10 seats won by the governing National Unity Party. However, the ruling military junta refused to recognize the result. Soon after the election, the party was repressed and in 1989 Suu Kyi was placed under house arrest. This was her status for 16 of the following 21 years. She was most recently released on 13 November 2010. In 2001, the government permitted NLD office branches to re-open throughout Burma and freed some imprisoned members. In May 2003, dozens of NLD members were shot and killed in a government sponsored massacre, its General Secretary, Aung San Suu Kyi and others were again arrested. On 6 May 2010, the party was declared illegal and ordered to be disbanded by the junta after refusing to register for the elections slated for November 2010.

The NLD boycotted the general election held in November 2010 because many of its most prominent members were barred from standing. The laws were written in such a way that the party would have had to expel these members in order to be allowed to run. This decision, taken in May, led to the party being officially banned. In November 2011, the NLD announced its intention to register as a political party in order to contend future elections and on 13 December 2011, Burma's Union Election Commission approved their application for registration.

The NLD was competing in its first elections since 1990, after boycotting the 2010 polls. It was one of 17 opposition parties that took part. Apart from winning her own seat, Ms Suu Kyi appears to have helped a number of her colleagues to victory. NLD officials say they believe the party has won many seats - but there has been no formal word yet from the Election Commission. "We hope this is the beginning of a new era."

While much remains to be done in Burma, Suu Kyi's apparent election to parliament, like that of the apparent election of large numbers of her NLD colleagues, is an important step forward for the country. After an arduous campaign criss-crossing the country, Aung San Suu Kyi is obviously exhausted. But her efforts have paid off. Now she must muster her resources to face a future in a parliament still dominated by the military. Suu Kyi is expected to continue to nurture her relationship with Burma's President Thein Sein. Both have taken big risks to get to this stage.

But even if the NLD wins most of the seats as it seems now, the army and its proxy Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) will still hold about 80% of seats in parliament. The new system will soon need economic success and investment to win stronger popular backing -- hence the regime's desire for Western support and the lifting of sanctions. And this gives massive leverage to Suu Kyi, whose iconic status both in the EU and the USA has given her a very powerful influence on public opinion.

Charismatic leader & Opposition


The 66-year-old Ms Suu Kyi - who spent years under house arrest after her party won polls in 1990 but was not allowed to take power - has promised to use her voice to continue to push for further reform. Suu Kyi, released from house arrest days after that poll, has since taken a pivotal position, following talks with President Thein Sein last summer and her subsequent decision to run in an April 1 by-election. Her participation in the upcoming vote is one of a series of positive changes that have marked a break with the old junta approach to leadership and led to thawing relations with the West, which has imposed tough sanctions on the isolated nation.

Suu Kyi, daughter of former leader of the party, and her National League for Democracy (NLD) decided in May 2010 to boycott the general elections that year. Her talks with Thein Sein have since convinced her to rejoin mainstream politics, to the point of rumours she will soon be in the government, speculation that she has not ruled out. However, she is clearly determined to remain leader of the democracy movement.

Myanmar's top leaders pushes for more transformations, many are cautiously waiting to see whether the reformers will succeed, as the current reform process is very fragile, with a small minority in the army outraged -- or scared -- by the changes. Shwe Mann, previously the junta-number-three and still relatively influential, has on several occasions said Suu Kyi would be welcome in parliament.

Suu Kyi is "of course" the patron saint of the opposition and is the only person who can have an influence all over the people. In recent months, the opposition party leader has been an indispensable interlocutor during the visits of foreign dignitaries. And she is careful not to criticize the government. Military is also happy that she transformed from an icon to a politician with all the risks and contradictions that entails.

Economy of Myanmar depends much on attitude of the West towards Myanmar regime. USA says ''now is not the time'' to rush towards lifting the sanctions. Far too many political prisoners are still locked behind bars, violence continues against ethnic minorities and the military dominates not only the composition but the structure of the government. US “lawmakers” who drafted sanctions against Burma remained cautiously optimistic. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton congratulated Burma on holding the vote and said that the US was ''committed to supporting these reform efforts". The EU hinted that it could ease some sanctions if the vote went smoothly.

An Observation

West, in spite of its democracy bull talks, does promote military regimes because it is easier to control the nations under military regimes than under popular governments.

Countries like India misuse its UNSC membership to protect the military regime. India kills Muslims indoors and in neighbouring Jammu Kashmir which is under occupation since 1947. Obviously, as a strategic ally of USA-UK terror twins as well as NATO gangs, terrocractic India can’t but support military crimes in Myanmar or anywhere in the world. And, that is the secret of success of all terrocracies and military regimes.

USA does not genuinely criticize Myanmar military regime either, because Pakistan and Afghanistan are literally ruled by NATO military syndicates by employing few paid puppet leaders at the helm of affairs.

USA split the political parties in Libya and boosted the image of opposition that has a support in oil rich regions. When the notorious UNSC and NATO terror syndicate jointly wanted to destabilize Libya, they could impose “noflyzone” over sovereign Libya and attacked Libya, killed its leaders Col. M. Qaddafi, looted Libyan oil resources, they refused to do the same in Burma’s case, precisely because this South East Asian nation has no oil resources.

In other words, both UNSC and NATO shield the military crimes in Myanmar or any other nation that does not have any strategic importance to NATO. .

After half a century of total military domination, the Southeast Asian nation held widely-criticized elections in 2010 after ordering some of its members to shed their army uniforms to lead a "civilian" government.

About the writer:

Dr. Abdul Ruff, Specialist on State Terrorism; Educationalist; Chancellor-Founder of Centor for International Affairs (CIA); Independent Analyst;, Chronicler of Foreign occupations & Freedom movements(Palestine, Kashmir, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Xinjiang, Chechnya, etc); Anti-Muslimism and anti-Islamism are more dangerous than "terrorism" Anti-Islamic forces & terrorists are using criminal elements for terrorizing the world and they in disguise are harming genuine interests of ordinary Muslims. Global media today, even in Muslim nations, are controlled by CIA & other anti-Islamic agencies. Former university Teacher; website:abdulruff.wordpress.com.




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