“It is not so much our triumph as a triumph of the people who have decided that they have to be involved in the political process in this country. We hope this will be the beginning of a new era.” – Aung San Suu Kyi
It was a huge win for Aung San Suu Kyi and an even bigger victory for the people of Southeast Asia, in a place once called Burma.
Confirmation of her victory from Myanmar’s election commission came Monday, via Reuters.
Suu Kyi will lead the Pro-democracy opposition National League for Democracy, which challenges Myanmar’s parliament that has been dominated by the military since the 1962 coup, when it was a British colony. According to reports in Bloomberg, the military still holds 80% of parliament.
Rising after two decades of home imprisonment, receiving the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991 while confined, Suu Kyi’s political victory is already bringing speculation of a 2015 presidential bid.
Today, the EU elite floated that economic sanctions against Myanmar could now be eased, with discussions promised as soon as three weeks.
Suu Kyi’s victory is the latest tectonic shift in Myanmar, with the government already having released political prisoners, and as Reuters has reported, “held talks with ethnic minority rebels, relaxed media censorship, allowed trade unions to operate and showed signs of pulling away from China’s economic and political orbit.”
Myanmar lawmakers are pushing to revamp the financial system and attract investment to revive an economy hindered by decades of military rule and sanctions from the U.S. and European Union. The central bank yesterday implemented a managed float of its currency to improve the business climate in the country of 64 million people that borders China and India.
Rich in natural gas, gold and gems, Myanmar represents one of Asia’s last untapped frontier markets, attracting investors such as Jim Rogers, the chairman of Rogers Holdings, who predicted a global commodities rally in 1999. Cambodia-based Leopard Capital plans to raise $100 million for a fund to invest in Myanmar once sanctions are lifted…
Suu Kyi is yet another woman illustrating what happens when exceptional women become leaders of their country. If Suu Kyi is anything, she is the very soul of exceptional.
Statement by the Press Secretary on the Elections in Burma
We congratulate the people of Burma on their participation in the electoral process, and Aung San Suu Kyi and the National League for Democracy on their strong showing in the polls. This election is an important step in Burma’s democratic transformation, and we hope it is an indication that the Government of Burma intends to continue along the path of greater openness, transparency, and reform.