According to Aung San Suu Kyi's party, she has won a seat in parliament in Burma's historic elections, setting her up to hold public office in the next few years. Previously, Myanmar was ruled exclusively by the military, but the Southeastern Asian country is now hoping to gain legitimacy with the EU as well as have Western sanctions lifted. The National League for Democracy celebrated the monumental move that could end with a democratic government in Burma in the near future. After decades of a struggling economy, Myanmar is attempting to turn democratic in hopes of emerging from international isolation (CBC News).
The United States showed their support for Myanmar at a news conference in Istanbul. "Even the most repressive regimes can reform, and even the most closed societies can open," said US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, also hinting at Syria's lack of cooperation (CBC News). .
Despite the enormous step towards democracy from Myanmar, Suu Kyi's party will not hold great power even if they win all open seats in parliament. The military and the party they support will still hold a large majority of the control over Myanmar. Burmese democracy activist and research fellow with the London School of Economics Maung Zarni cautioned citizens from getting too excited over Suu Kyi's victory. If her party successfully wins all of its seats, it would still only hold eight percent of the 664 seats in parliament (CBC News).
"Politics is a number game. She is not likely to have much leverage, politically speaking, with the military junta," Zarni said. "At the end of the day, who calls the shot is the military" (CBC News). .
Although the victory is a small one in regards to control in parliament, the great victory comes from the fact that Burma's citizens came out to vote for Suu Kyi's party. Previously, they were held under an oppressive military rule (CBC News). .
The United States and the European Union hold a democratic government as the last hurdle before acceptance into the union and dismantling economic sanctions against Myanmar.