Challenges of a Transitional Democracy in a Post-Election Myanmar: Cooperation or Conflict?


After winning overwhelmingly in Myanmar's recent elections, the National League for Democracy (NLD) finally assumes power in April 2016. They will also form the bulk of the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (or the Assembly of the Union) and helming many of the ministries and cabinet seats. However, under the Constitution, the military continues to dominate 25% of the seats. Despite reports of electoral fraud and the occasional irregularities, the country saw, and what most pundits have declared, as largely a fair election. At the helm of the NLD success has been Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, a political prisoner since 1988 until her release from house arrest in 2010. Nevertheless, Aung San Suu Kyi has since made known that she would be 'above the President' However, will the aura of her power dimmed in the coming months if much needed reforms is not seen as forthcoming as before? This paper aims to analyse some of the challenges that this country will encounter in the coming months. What will the role of the Tatmadaw (Myanmar Armed Forces) be? Are we seeing a tacit approval by the military of the power and influence of Aung San Suu Kyi or vice versa? Major powers and the international community are watching closely to the developments of this nascent democratic government in transition. How will this democratically elected government be able to demonstrate to the world that democracy is thriving? Will there be cooperation or conflict?

Author Information
Felix Tan Thiam Kim, Singapore Institute of Management, Global Education, Singapore

Paper Information
Conference: ACAS2016
Stream: South-East Asian Studies (including Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos)

This paper is part of the ACAS2016 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon