YANGUN, Myanmar (AP) – Voting was underway in the Myanmar elections on Sunday, with the party of Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi backing five years ago to gain power from the powerful military.
More than 90 parties are competing for seats in the lower and upper houses of parliament, while elections are also held at the state and regional levels.
With opposition to the chaos, Su Chi, who is the country’s leader with the title of State Counselor, remains Myanmar’s most popular politician. But his government has slashed expectations, economic development is reducing widespread poverty and failure to ease tensions between the country’s nomadic ethnic groups.
There are over 37 million people eligible to vote, including 5 million first-timers. Fear of coronovirus and safety measures may cause injury to the voter. Traditional propaganda was severely limited in some areas by social disturbances and quarantine.
Suu Kyi cast her ballot at the end of last month in the capital Napitav, at the age of 75, as citizens over the age of 60 were encouraged to vote in advance, as well as those who were sent by coronoviruses to their Were forced to stay away from home constituencies.
Voters lined up outside polling stations in Yangon, the country’s largest city.
“We need someone to lead our country like we have a leader in our house,” said Sushil Chand, who is in the paper selling business. “Thus, voting today is important for us to get a good leader.”
The National League for Democracy’s Suu Kyi Party won the last election in a landslide in 2015, ending more than five decades of military-directed rule in the country.
His party’s main challenge, as it was five years ago, is the military-backed Union Solidarity and Development Party, which has led the opposition in Parliament.
Suu Kyi’s administration’s ability to run the country was granted by a parliament with 25% seats in the 2008 Army-drafted constitution, allowing it to block constitutional reforms.
The Election Commission said that it would start declaring the results on Monday morning. But it can take up to a week to gather all the votes, some of which will come from remote forest areas.
The vote is seen as a referendum led by Suu Kyi, with little sign of major interest in policy debate.
“No major party is really an option, a credible option, ahead,” said Yangon-based political analyst Richard Horsey, saying that Suu Kyi’s side has a winning hand in Myanmar’s heartland, where His ethnic Burmans remain the majority.
Even more important to the prospects of the ruling party, he said, “There is personal support, even love, that many people themselves hold for Aung San Suu Kyi, regardless of how the government administers, how the economy performs Is, etc.
Love has not spread to the border regions, states occupied by innumerable ethnic minorities who have been demanding greater political autonomy for decades.
Suu Kyi’s ambitious plans harmonize with minorities. Their complaints have often turned into armed rebellion, posing a major threat to national security.
In 2015 ethnic political parties collaborated with Suu Kyi’s party on the basis of constituency to ensure victory against the candidates of the Central Solidarity and Development Party.
But this year, ethnic parties, frustrated by his failure to reach a deal to expand their political rights, will only support their own candidates.
The Election Commission created a big controversy when it canceled voting in some areas where parties important to the government were sure to win seats. The commission blamed the armed insurgency, but critics said the agency was bidding for the NLD. It is estimated that more than 1 million people have been deported.
The plight of Myanmar’s Muslim Rohingya ethnic minority – a matter of concern for the country’s foreign friends – has no real role in the campaign. A brutal 2017 counterinsurgency campaign by Myanmar’s military prompted 740,000 Rohingya to flee to the Bangladesh border, prompting the World Court to investigate a possible massacre.
Long-standing prejudices against the Rohingya, which many believe to be illegal immigrants from South Asia despite their families settling in Myanmar for generations, have deprived most of Myanmar citizenship and basic rights, including voting is.