Published On: Wed, Nov 11th, 2015

Suu Kyi edges toward absolute majority in Mayanmar

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Myanmar’s democracy champion Aung San Suu Kyi moved closer to an absolute majority in the country’s parliament on Wednesday and has made it clear she will wield it to run the country despite a constitutional ban on her becoming president.

Suu Kyi’s opposition National League for Democracy (NLD) has won over 90 percent of the seats declared so far in the country’s lower house and over 85 percent in regional assemblies and the upper house, a triumph that will reshape the political landscape.

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

But as the scale of her victory becomes clear, the Nobel peace laureate has struck an increasingly defiant tone on the charter’s attempt to limit her power. In interviews on Tuesday she made it clear she would be calling the shots for a president chosen by her party, who would have no authority. She told the BBC 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.

To form Myanmar’s first democratically elected government since the early 1960s, the NLD needs to win more than two-thirds of seats that were contested in parliament.

Results so far gave Suu Kyi’s party 135 of 149 seats declared out of the 330 seats not occupied by the military in the chamber. Under the junta-crafted constitution, a quarter of the seats in both houses are unelected and reserved for the armed forces.

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