Burma

NLD Claims 43 Seats

By Election, Saw Yan Naing 2 April 2012

Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) claims it has won at least 43 out of the 44 seats it contested in Sunday’s by-election in Burma, based on data from its own observers and party agents.

The only constituency the NLD has not claimed is Lashio in Shan State where polling results remain unknown, it said.

Of the 45 vacant seats contested nationwide on Sunday, the NLD competed in 44 after one of its candaidates, Saw Hlaing, was disqualified from running in Sagaing Division.

If the NLD’s claims are realized, the party will gain 37 seats in the 440-seat Lower House of Parliament, four seats (plus Lashio pending) in the 224-seat Upper House, and two seats in State and Regional assemblies.

The sweeping victory marks the first foray into electoral politics by the NLD since it won a landslide in 1990 general elections. Suu Kyi won a landslide victory in Khawmu Township in Rangoon Division.

Suu Kyi released a statement on Sunday saying that the NLD has won, and that the results are based on the support of the people of Burma.

However, she warned her supporters and party members not to behave or act negatively toward supporters of rival parties.

On Sunday evening, hundreds of NLD supporters celebrated victory in a festive atmosphere outside the party’s headquarters in Rangoon’s Bahan Township.

Suu Kyi’s Long Road to Victory

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Here are some key events in the life of Aung San Suu Kyi, who became the face of Burma’s struggle for democracy while locked under house arrest for two decades:

EARLY LIFE

— June 19, 1945: Born in Rangoon. She is the daughter of national hero Gen. Aung San and Daw Khin Kyi, also a prominent public figure.

— July 1947: Aung San and six members of his interim government are assassinated by rivals. Suu Kyi is two.

— 1960: After finishing high school, Suu Kyi leaves for further study in New Delhi, where her mother is Burma’s ambassador. She later moves to England to study at Oxford University.

— 1972: Marries Michael Aris, an Oxford University academic. Son Alexander born in 1973, son Kim born in 1977.

POLITICAL LIFE

— April 1988: Suu Kyi returns home to attend to her ailing mother just as pro-democracy protests erupt against the military junta. Her mother dies later that year.

— Aug. 8-11, 1988: Mass demonstrations throughout Burma. Security forces open fire on demonstrators. Hundreds are killed.

— September 1988: Suu Kyi helps found opposition party, the National League for Democracy.

— June 1989: The government renames the country Myanmar and the capital Yangon.

— July 1989: Suu Kyi, an increasingly outspoken critic of the junta, and her deputy, Tin Oo, are put under house arrest.

— May 1990: The junta calls general elections. Suu Kyi’s party wins a landslide victory, but the military refuses to hand over power.

— October 1991: Suu Kyi is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for her peaceful struggle against the regime.

— July 1995: Suu Kyi is released from house arrest but remains in Burma, fearing she will never be let back into the country if she leaves.

— March 1999: Aris, who has not seen his wife since 1995 because the junta repeatedly denied him a visa, dies of cancer in England.

— September 2000: Suu Kyi is placed under house arrest after attempting to leave Rangoon for a political meeting.

— May 2002: Suu Kyi is released from house arrest.

— May 2003: Suu Kyi is put back under house arrest. She is taken into “protective custody” after her motorcade is ambushed by a government-backed mob.

— August 2007: Protests start over fuel price increases, then swell into the largest pro-democracy demonstrations since 1988. The movement was dubbed the “Saffron Revolution” because it was led by saffron-robed Buddhist monks.

— Aug. 11, 2009: Suu Kyi’s detention is extended by 18 months when a court convicts her of violating her house arrest by briefly sheltering an American intruder who swam to her house uninvited.

— Nov. 7, 2010: Burma’s first elections in 20 years. Pro-junta party wins landslide victory in polls critics say were rigged and rampant with fraud.

— Nov. 13, 2010: Suu Kyi’s detention expires and she is freed.

— Jan. 18, 2012: Suu Kyi registers for April 1 by-election, kicking off a campaign that draws ecstatic nationwide support.

— April 1, 2012: By-elections to fill 45 seats in the 664-seat parliament. Suu Kyi’s party says she wins a seat, in what would mark her first elected office after two decades as a symbolic opposition leader.

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