Suu Kyi will not be pressured on the Rohingya issue

 There have been some exceptions to the results of Myanmar's election. Probably because of the post-election drama in the United States, there was not much discussion in the world about the election of Myanmar and its results.

 However, in the context of efforts to resolve the Rohingya crisis, this election carries considerable importance.

Before the election, Aung San Suu Kyi's party, the National League for Democracy (NLD), was expected to remain in power, with the Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) gaining ground as an opposition party.

 Note that the USDP is fully military-backed and the majority of the party's candidates are former military officers or military nominees. 

But the results of this year's election show that the very existence of the USDP is in jeopardy. 


In the last election (2015), it got 30 out of 440 seats in the lower house. It is to be noted that 100 seats are reserved for the military under the constitution of Myanmar.

Analysis of the election results shows that out of the 330 open seats in the lower house, the NLD has got 3 seats more than before and it got total 258 seats this time. Out of the 16 open seats in the upper house, it also got 3 more seats than before and obtained 136 in total. 

On the other hand, the USDP lost 4 seats in the lower house and obtained 26 seats. Besides, it lost 4 seats in the upper house and got 7 seats in total. Therefore, it is easy to assume that the support of the army-backed party has decreased, while the support of the NLD has increased.

 It is to be noted that this time the election was not held as 6 seats in the upper house and 15 seats in the lower house were in the so-called 'emergency' area.

The NLD has won 501 of the 660 open seats in the state and region, while its nearest rival, the USDP, has won only in 36 seats, followed by the Sun National League for Democracy with 26 seats. 

The election was not held in 48 seats due to emergency issue, most of them were in Rakhine State. Here the NLD has increased by 25 seats, while the USDP has decreased by a total of 35 seats. This calculation covers 7 states and 7 regions including Rakhine.

It is clear from the election results that the NLD's popularity has grown in all directions and that people have lost confidence in the military-backed USDP. But because of the constitution, the influence of the military is still going on.

 According to the constitution, 25 per cent of the seats in all chambers of parliament are reserved for military members, so it is not possible to change the constitution by a two-thirds vote. Therefore, the influence of the army is not diminishing.

The collapse of the USDP is catastrophic for the military. According to observers, Tatmadaw (military headquarters) had said before the election that if the election was rigged, other measures would be taken, which did not go in favour of the USDP. 

The USDP has already made about 500 allegations of electoral irregularities. But after the election, the military, especially Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, has maintained a distance from the USDP. Instead, he supports the demand of the Arakan Army to hold the election promptly in Rakhine State.

 But China has been accused by the military of handing over new weapons to the Arakan Army,  before the election. Such statements before the election were unexpected. Many people think that such statements may have been made to embarrass Suu Kyi.

However, Myanmar's so-called opposition, the USDP, does not seem to have much of a future after such a tragic defeat. 

On the other hand, there are several reasons behind this unprecedented success of the NLD. The NLD has the strong support of Myanmar's Ba'athist Buddhist voters. 

At the same time in some marginal areas, Suu Kyi's rivals were not found. In recent years, the Rohingya issue has tarnished Suu Kyi's image in the West, leading to speculation that her popularity may plummet. But that did not happen.

 Because there is no other leader in Myanmar other than Suu Kyi who has accepted so much sacrifice for Myanmar politics in her personal life. People are considering her as a tested leader.

Many had the idea that Suu Kyi's popularity would drop as she stood up for the Myanmar genocide in the ICJ and couldn't do so well there, but it did not. On the contrary, the Bamar nationalists have taken her position as very positive.

 The Suu Kyi's government has not had much economic success. But it has been able to attract huge investments from Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Vietnam and India. Although China is still the largest investor.

Myanmar has not been as successful in controlling the COVID-19 as other countries in Southeast Asia, but people have seen their leader appear on television screens almost every day to alert them and take immediate action.

 One of Suu Kyi's achievements has been to continue peace talks and maintain a ceasefire with most of the warring factions. 

But the sad reality is that her unchanging and inflexible stance against the Rohingya has appeased the extremist Buddhist community and the Bamar Buddhists.

But when Suu Kyi forms the new government in April next year, she will face several challenges. First, what kind of relationship will there be with the military. The military has already called for peace talks with the Arakan Army, which the NLD has rejected.

A bigger challenge is the international pressure on the Rohingya issue. But Suu Kyi doesn't seem to care because of her new strength. Because there was nothing like that in his electoral mandate.

 However, under the terms of the agreement with Bangladesh, some Rohingyas may be repatriated based on bilateral talks, but this will not play any role in resolving the crisis in Bangladesh. 

Without it, the question of citizenship for the millions of Rohingya internally displaced in Myanmar will remain unresolved.

 Due to Suu Kyi's popularity in the country and her badge of democracy, the neighbouring countries do not seem to be putting much pressure on Myanmar to resolve the Rohingya crisis.

Many feel that a change of government in the United States could be a problem for Myanmar.

 But given the US-China geopolitical rivalry in the region, there is little room for change in the Myanmar policy of Biden's administration.

The Rohingya problem could gradually become a major problem for Bangladesh. Therefore, Bangladesh has to actively consider its alternative paths. It is not expected that this problem will be solved easily.

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