Elections Make History, Generate Hope for a New Myanmar

On Sunday, November 8, more than 30 million voters in Myanmar went to the polls to cast their votes for members of the Union Parliament as well as for the 14 state and region parliaments. These were the first elections in many decades in which an astounding 91 diverse political parties participated. Given that many were voting for the first time, the Union Election Commission, political parties, and hundreds of civil society organizations provided much-needed voter education. At more than 40,000 polling stations across the country on Election Day, people lined up early and waited patiently for their turn to vote. Some 10,000 international and local election observers were deployed to monitor the election.

While we’re still waiting for the final election tally to be announced by the Union Election Commission, results thus far indicate a landslide victory for the main opposition party, the National League of Democracy headed by the Nobel laureate Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, against the ruling Union Solidarity and Development Party. President U Thein Sein has offered his congratulations to Daw Aung San Suu Kyi for her party’s commanding lead and emphasized the government’s commitment to a peaceful transition of power. This photo blog captures these historic elections, which the government’s own Global New Light of Myanmar newspaper called the “Dawn of a New Era,” as witnessed across townships in the largest city of Yangon.

Related locations: Myanmar
Related programs: Strengthen Governance