The Danish minister for Foreign Affairs, Kristian Jensen, has congratulated Myanmar on its successful general election last week.
“I would like to congratulate Aung San Suu Kyi and her party, the National League for Democracy, on what appears to be an impressive election victory. The results of the elections published so far indicate that the people of Myanmar have voted for change. I urge all actors to respect the outcome of the elections even though the process has not been perfect.
I am pleased to note that national elections in Myanmar were peaceful and well-run according to the concurrent assessment of the international election observation missions.
Myanmar is still undergoing a fragile reform and democratisation process with many challenges. It is important to continue the democratisation process to the benefit of all people in the country. And it is also important to improve the human rights situation for the Rohingya population and secure a lasting nationwide peace.
The elections are, however, an important step in the right direction and Denmark looks forward to continuing its support to the democratic and economic development of Myanmar to the benefit of all people in the country,” the minister said.
Aung San Suu Kyi, leader of the opposition, succeeded in a political victory. The election was historic, as it was the first free election in 25 years. When the election was held 25 years ago, Aung San Suu Kyi won with the large majority of votes, but before her party could take over the government, it was prevented by a military coup. The election was then annulled and San Suu Kyi was placed under long-term house arrest.
She became one of the world’s most prominent political prisoners, as she was under house arrest for 15 out of the 21 years leading up to her most recent release in late 2010.
Despite the landslide election victory, Aung San Suu Kyi won’t become president, as the military still retain 25 percent of seats in both parlamentary houses, giving it a veto over any move to change the constitution. Several chapters of the 2008 constitution prevents Aung San Suu Kyi from becoming president, an example being chapter 3 which states that the president must be someone who “he himself, one of the parents, the spouse, one of the legitimate children or their spouses not owe allegiance to a foreign power”. Without a constitutional change, Aung San Suu Kyi cannot become president, as her sons are both british citizens.
The election victory came five years to the day since she was released from her house arrest.