On This Day

The Day of Myanmar’s Last Democratic Election

By The Irrawaddy 8 November 2022

On this day two years ago, the 2020 general election was held on November 8 with more than 27 million votes cast.

Eighty-seven political parties took part and the National League for Democracy (NLD) won 920 (or 82 percent) of the 1,117 available seats.

The military-proxy Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) only won 71 seats or 6.3 percent of available seats in the Naypyitaw parliament. It needed about 20 percent more of the parliamentary seats to form a government with the 25 percent of MPs who are military-appointees, as guaranteed under the junta-drafted 2008 Constitution.

The USDP and military were both unhappy with the crushing defeat with the party claiming the election was unfair and should be canceled.

Domestic and international observers, however, agreed that the results were representative of the public will. The US, UK, China and fellow ASEAN members congratulated National League for Democracy leader, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.

Commander-in-Chief Min Aung Hlaing seized power in a coup on February 1, 2021, alleging voter fraud.

Voters who were expecting more NLD reforms saw the country being taken back to military rule.

President U Win Myint, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and her ministers were jailed and the results canceled.

The regime is planning to hold an election next year and replace the current first-past-the-post electoral system with proportional representation to stop any single party gaining a majority like the NLD in the 1990, 2015 and 2020 general elections.

Any junta “election” can be expected to name Min Aung Hlaing as president.