Myanmar's Suu Kyi says elections “not fair but free”

Myanmar’s opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says “election was not fair but largely free” adding if her party wins appointed president would take instructions from her

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Myanmar’s NLD party leader Aung San Suu Kyi gives a speech to supporters during a campaign rally for country's general election, October 24, 2015

The leader of the National League for Democracy (NLD), Aung San Suu Kyi said on Tuesday that the parliamentary election held on Sunday was “not fair but free” despite "areas of intimidation."

“The times are different, the people are different. I find the people are far more politicised now than they were back, not just in 1990, but much more politicised than they were in 2012, when we campaigned for the by-election, and very much more alert to what it going on around them,” she said.

Observers from the European Union also stated that the election -in which around 30 million people were eligible to vote- was better than they expected, but added more is needed to be done to hold “truly genuine elections” in the future.

EU Chief Observer Alexander Graf Lambsdorff said "European Union Election Observation Missions do not using the terms 'free and fair' because it is not quite clear how much goes into an election. We use the terms a 'genuine' election, a 'credible' election and a 'transparent' election."

However, he added: "We've found that the process for candidate nominations and verification of candidacies was applied in a way that as a result had a very, very, very low number of Muslim candidates remaining. We also believe that for the future, the parties will be well advised to increase the participation for women in the political life of the country."

There were only 11 Muslim candidates waiting to be elected as a parliament member, but none of them were members of any major political party, including the NLD.

Thousands of people, including Muslims from Rohingya minority were not eligible to vote, since they are not recognised as Myanmarese citizens.

The NLD leader, Suu Kyi has been widely criticised for failing to speak up for the country's embattled Muslim population, whom she said should not be exaggerated when "our whole country is in a dramatic situation."

However, in her last interview, she said her government would protect Muslim rights.

"Prejudice is not removed easily and hatred is not going to removed easily... I'm confident the great majority of the people want peace… they do not want to live on a diet of hate and fear," she stated.

“Intentional deceleration”

Although the Nobel Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi stated that they are expecting to get around 75 percent of the seats, the official results of Sunday’s election have yet to be announced.

According to the country's election commission, NLD has taken 78 of the 88 seats announced so far for the lower house of parliament, which has 440 seats in total.

The NLD spokesperson Win Htein claimed that the election commission is decelerating the announcement of the results intentionally, saying "they are trying to be crooked."

Myanmar is a country trying to complete its transition from a military run government to a civilian elected one, as the military rule ended only 4 years ago and the 25 percent of the seats in the parliament are still reserved for the army.

Under the country’s army-scripted constitution, even if  NLD succeeds, Suu Kyi cannot become the president of Myanmar due to her foreign spouse and children.

Suu Kyi had earlier said she would be “above the president” if her party wins a landslide election and repeated her statement in her second interview on Tuesday.  

She said if NLD wins the election, “the chosen president will be appointed just to meet requirements of constitution."

"That won't stop me from making all the decisions as the leader of the winning party," she added.

TRTWorld and agencies