Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi’s opposition party attained a historic majority in Myanmar’s Parliament on 13th November. This development made it possible for her party to form Myanmar’s first truly civilian government in more than half a century.
While complete results of the elections are not tallied, the state election commission announced that Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) party had won 37 additional seats – pushing it over the threshold of 329 seats needed for a majority in the two-house Parliament.
The party with a combined parliamentary majority is able to select the next president, who can then name a Cabinet and form a new government. The 329 figure represents a majority in the 664-member parliament because voting was not held in seven constituencies due to unrest.
The ruling military-backed Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) has won just 40 seats so far. The handover should take place after the new Parliament meets early next year and votes on a new president, along with two vice-presidents.
NLD’s victory is a second chance for the party, which also won a landslide victory in the first election it contested, in 1990, only to see the results annulled by the military, and many of its leading members harassed and jailed.