Not sure what all the fuss is over the election in Myanmar? Then read on.
Former political prisoner and Nobel Peace Prize winner, Aung San Suu Kyi (pronounced Ahng Sahn Soo Chee – if you’ve been saying it wrong you’re not alone – US President Barack Obama stuffed it up when meeting Ms Suu Kyi in 2012) is poised to achieve a landslide victory in Myanmar’s national elections.
So why does this matter?
It’s huge news because Myanmar’s been ruled by a military junta, that even changed the country’s name (it used to be Burma), and then a government propped up by that junta, since 1962.
Ms Suu Kyi’s opposition party, the National League for Democracy (NLD), won over 90 per cent of the seats in the first tranche of official results, and the party’s own tally predicts wins for the NLD in over 70 per cent of seats.
— Agence France-Presse (@AFP) November 9, 2015
What does the win mean for the rest of the region?
If the NLD is able to form government, this will be the first elected non-military government in more than 50 years.
It’s a big step forward for the south-east Asian nation, bordered by China, Thailand, Laos, India and Bangladesh.
Although the military junta allowed elections in 1990 which saw the NLD elected, the ballot didn’t lead to democratic rule. Instead Aung San Suu Kyi was famously placed under house arrest, where she remained for 20 years.
So what’s different this time?
After an election in 2010 that was not contested by opposition parties the military-backed Union Solidarity and Development Party government took the reins in 2011.