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April 5, 2012

MYANMAR: Aung San Suu Kyi’s win is humiliation for the army

YANGON, Myanmar / The Economist Asian Edition / World / April 5, 2012

Aung San Suu Kyi: The Lady of all landslides 

Aung San Suu Kyi, born 19 June 1945

THE boisterous, joyful scenes throughout the evening of April 1st outside the headquarters in Yangon of the National League for Democracy (NLD) said it all. Myanmar’s main opposition party was on course for a huge victory in the day’s historic by-elections. Every ten minutes or so news of yet another unfeasibly good result would be posted up on a digital display screen facing the street, provoking even more ecstatic cheering from the huge crowd gathered outside. These were extraordinary scenes in a country that just over a year ago was a hushed and fearful military dictatorship.
Over the following days the government confirmed the NLD’s landslide. The party contested 44 of the 45 seats on offer to the federal parliament in Naypyidaw. These were the first elections it had taken part in since 1990, and it won 43 of them.....

Miss Suu Kyi, modest in victory, has helped. She insisted her supporters not indulge in triumphalism. But now it is up to the officers whether Myanmar is truly to enjoy the “new era” Miss Suu Kyi proclaimed the day after her triumph. Everyone knows where she now stands: just outside the presidential palace.

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Copyright © The Economist Newspaper Limited 2012

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