On Sunday Myanmar time, Aung San Suu Kyi and the National League for Democracy (NLD) swept to victory in a landslide in the by-elections for parliamentary seats. Suu Kyi herself won a parliamentary seat, and the party appears to have taken the majority of seats contested overall, leading to jubilation at party headquarters. The victory will likely be viewed by some members of the international community as a sign that Myanmar’s reform process in fully entrenched, and that foreign countries should abandon sanctions and completely normalize relations with Myanmar.
But in a new CFR Expert Brief on the elections, I argue that, though significant, the by-elections should not be viewed as the sign of consolidation of reform. Instead, the key will be national elections held three years from now; despite the sweeping victory, the NLD will still control only a tiny fraction of seats in parliament.
You can read the entire Expert Brief here.