Where’s the victory rally? Suu Kyi waits!


The National League for Democracy (NLD) has won an absolute majority in Parliament in the results sent in so far for the November 8 election. This means they have enough seats to form a government, control the legislature and select Myanmar's next president. This is, without doubt, a momentous victory for Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, the NLD and its supporters. 

There is, however, no sign of preparations for a celebration.

When the results were announced at noon on Friday, the party's headquarters were deserted; no songs, no chanting, no waving of NLD flags. This was a far cry from the huge rallies which took place in the same location on both Sunday and Monday and the roar of cheers as winning seats were announced.

The underwhelming pinnacle of the day's celebrations has so far been the unceremonious unveiling of a giant piece of graffiti artwork which depicts Daw Suu Kyi and the phrase “The Way We Trust”. 

The results at noon on Friday were not the last of the results to be announced, 17% of seats were still unaccounted for. It is possible, therefore, that the party is simply waiting for the full results to be released and for their victory to be 'official'.

The NLD's victory has, however, been unofficially known for quite some time.  On Tuesday, when still only a small fraction of the results had been announced, the party publicly said it expected to win a majority in both Houses. 

Daw Suu Kyi told the BBC: “the results have been coming in steadily and we will probably get around 75% of the Union legislature”.

She has also been urging NLD supporters not to gloat and to keep celebrations measured. 

On Tuesday morning, following enormous rallies on the two preceding days, she told a crowd of supporters not to provoke the losers: “I want to remind you all that even candidates who didn't win have to accept the winners but it is important not to provoke the candidates who didn't win to make them feel bad”.

On Wednesday, the incumbent Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) conceded defeat. 

The President, Thein Sein, sent his congratulations to Daw Suu Kyi for “gathering the support of the people”. 

He also issued a statement on his Facebook which said: “The government will respect and follow the people’s choice and decision, and work on transferring power peacefully according to the timetable”.

Myanmar has been praised internationally for its transition towards democracy. The process has been far from perfect, but many around the world acknowledge it as an important first step which has been carried out in a respectable way.

The President of the United States, Barack Obama, phoned President Thein Sein to commend him for the successful conduct for Myanmar's historic election.

The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, David Cameron, released a statement which said: “These landmark elections are an important step towards democracy in Burma and a triumph for Burmese people, who have clearly voiced their desire for change”. He added: “The UK stands ready to support the people of Burma as they continue to work towards a more democratic and accountable government, including those unable to vote in this election”.

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