After 15 years under house arrest, the Nobel Peace laureate and leader of the National League for Democracy, Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi, contested Myanmar’s parliamentary bi-elections on April 1, 2012.
Announcing a landslide victory, her party won nearly every seat it contested, showing strong support for the opposition to the military-backed, ruling Union Solidarity and Development Party.
After decades of authoritarian military rule, Myanmar is embarking on a journey of liberalisation under President U Thein Sein, a former army general who took office in 2011 after flawed elections. U Thein Sein has been responsible for the release of hundreds of political prisoners, has taken steps to liberalise Myanmar’s State-controlled economy and has given liberty to Myanmar’s face of democracy, Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi. The ruling party still controls the majority of Parliament, making Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi’s victory largely symbolic, although the people of Myanmar remain hopeful that a shift from the poverty and oppression they have experienced is imminent.