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Monday, 25 January 2021

Myanmar votes in election likely to favor Suu Kyi

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Myanmar votes in election likely to favor Suu Kyi
Myanmar votes in election likely to favor Suu Kyi

Myanmar's democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi looks likely to win a second term for her National league for Democracy despite the collapse of her reputation overseas amid allegations of genocide.

David Doyle reports.

Against the backdrop of a golden pagoda, people voted in Myanmar on Sunday (Nov 8) in an election likely to reward Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy, or NLD, with a second term.

The country's democracy icon remains popular at home, even as her government's reputation has collapsed overseas amid allegations of genocide.

But her expected victory is likely to be narrower than the landslide she secured in 2015 with the COVID-19 pandemic potentially dampening turnout.

Myanmar is seeing an average 1,100 cases per day , but at a polling station in Myanmar's biggest city Yangon, Sai Kyaw Latt Phyo says it is worth taking the risk because of the "crucial situation of our country's politics".

Myanmar's constitution guarantees the military an ongoing, significant political stake that make reforms difficult.

And while Suu Kyi and the military have historically been at odds, tensions have been running particularly high lately with army chief Min Aung Hlaing criticizing "unacceptable mistakes" in the lead up to the polls.

More than a million people have also been unable to vote due to insurgencies.

They join hundreds of thousands from the persecuted Rohingya minority, confined to camps in Myanmar's Rakhine state, who are barred from taking part.

More than 730,000 Rohingya fled the country following a 2017 military crackdown that the United Nations has said was executed with genocidal intent.

On Friday (Nov 6) UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres urged "peaceful, orderly and credible elections" that could enable the Rohingya to return "in safety and dignity."


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