As the results of Sunday’s election slowly emerge, it appears that Aung San Suu Kyi’s party, the National League for Democracy (NLD), is likely to take a majority, allowing them to form government.
ARTICLE 19 encourages the future government to uphold and respect human rights in Myanmar, and to promote and defend freedom of expression, including the right to protest, media freedoms, and online rights.
While there have been positive aspects to this election, which has been deemed largely ‘competitive and meaningful’, and with an estimated turnout of 80%, about 30 million people were eligible to vote, the fact remains that hundreds of thousands of people – including the Rohingya, who are not recognised as citizens – were denied their right to vote.
As part of what has been dubbed ‘disciplined democracy’ by the generals, the constitution, drafted by the military, provides 25% of the seats in the Hluttaw (the Parliament) are allocated to unelected military representatives. These representatives have a veto over constitutional change. Furthermore, whichever party wins, specifically-drafed provisions of the constitution bar Aung San Suu Kyi from becoming president.