Burma Election Makes History

Suu Kyi's party leading after first free national vote in 25 years
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 9, 2015 3:26 AM CST
Updated Nov 9, 2015 5:29 AM CST
Burma Election Makes History
Buddhist monks walk past the headquarters of Burma's opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy party while collecting morning alms Monday in Rangoon, Burma.   (AP Photo/Khin Maung Win)

The opposition party led by Aung San Suu Kyi sounds very confident after elections that the Independent describes as the freest in Burma's history. Her National League for Democracy party is expected to make huge gains after Sunday's vote in the country's first free national election in 25 years, and numerous candidates from the ruling, military-backed Union Solidarity and Development Party have already admitted defeat, the BBC reports. "I think you all have the idea of the results," Suu Kyi told cheering supporters on Monday morning, though it's not clear whether the party will have the two-thirds majority in the country's parliament needed to form a government, reports Reuters.

The election comes after decades of struggle by Suu Kyi, including 15 years under house arrest, but though she has said she wants to become president, the constitution bars her from the position because her two sons hold British nationality, the BBC notes. US Secretary of State John Kerry praised the election as a "testament to the courage and sacrifice shown by the people of Burma over many decades" while also describing the vote as "far from perfect" due to the disfranchisement of groups like the Muslim Rohingya minority and the reservation of seats in parliament for the military, reports the Guardian. (More Myanmar stories.)

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