Decision day in Myanmar

In a nation blighted by strife, rights abuses and curbs on free speech, for one day millions dared to hope for change.

Andre Malerba | | Politics, Human Rights, Asia, Myanmar, Elections

The November 8 parliamentary election was a historic day for Myanmar. Since opening up in 2012, Myanmar has experienced a slow and bumpy path towards true democracy, with many of its most powerful people, including current leaders, still well-connected to the former military junta.

Issues such as ethnic conflict, human rights and freedom of speech violations still plague the burgeoning nation, but for one day at least, many people dared hope for true change.

It has been a gruelling race between the National League for Democracy (NLD) and the Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP), at one point resulting in an armed attack on various NLD candidates.

The NLD has campaigned on the popularity of democratic icon Aung San Suu Kyi and a strong message of change and a new government. In contrast, the USDP has relied on its entrenched supporters, relaying the message that the people of Myanmar should be thankful for what they have and not risk losing it.

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