August 20, 2016

Democratic consolidation through power sharing is a priority

Kyaw Thura

Now that our country has held a free and fair election – though with a few disputes – the Union Election Commission has been announcing the winning candidates for parliamentary seats since 9 November. According to the announcements made so far, the opposition party National League for Democracy appears to be on course for a landslide victory.
Sources close to the president’s office, the parliament and the defence services said that these three institutions have expressed their recognition of the peoples’ choice and have vowed to ensure a stable transition of power in line with the State Constitution. However emerging victorious in the polls does not necessarily mean a handover of power from the sitting government to the incoming one. It should instead be viewed as a democratic consolidation.
It is important to note that the transitional process is more complex than we realise, especially in a nascent democracy like Myanmar. The new cabinet members alongside the new parliamentarians will inevitably have to overcome daunting challenges in establishing dynamic local administrative bodies and enhancing political capacity.
Unfortunately, we have lost some incumbent prominent, qualified parliamentarians as a result of the NLD’s overwhelming triumph. Many people still want them to remain in parliament on account of the efforts and contributions they have made for the country. It is however hoped that the new government will offer those political figures senior roles in parliament-related committees.
After all, the people across the country have paved the way for change to materialise. The onus is now on the incoming government to repay its gratitude the people and avoid acting in a way that would abuse public trust.


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