“I promise everybody who is living in this country proper protection in accordance with the law, and in accordance with the norms of human rights,” said Aung San Suu Kyi, whose opposition party won a majority in parliament on Friday in the first free elections in Myanmar in 25 years.
While most observers declared that the elections were free and fair enough, minority communities such as the Muslim Rohingya accused the government of having exclude them from the vote and from candidature. In fact, not only did the repressive military government deny the minority citizenship, but many Rohingya are also obliged to live in squalid camps while thousands more have tried to escape persecutions leaving the country, just like all dissidents since the military dictatorship instituted in 1988.
The Nobel laureate had already won 1990 elections – which were conceded by the new government – but the result was ignored: San Suu Kyi was put under house arrest before the elections started and she spent most of the next 20 years under detention before her recent release in 2010.
Even though she isn’t allowed to become president – the current constitution prohibits someone who’s married to a non-Burmese person to become president and this law cannot be amended without the approval of at least one military legislator – the party holding a majority will be able to elect the next president, who can then name a cabinet and form a new government.
On Thursday, the country’s powerful military rulers congratulated Suu Kyi on her electoral win and pledged a peaceful transfer of power which could open a new more democratic era for the Southeast Asian nation.
See Myanmar’s opposition leader Suu Kyi hints at her party victory in elections: