The victory set a record among three times that the elections have been held, and it has been described as a landslide victory for the NLD. The main reason is that the voters just voted for the NLD party’s candidates, instead of looking at candidates from various political parties as individuals.
Si Thu Maung, a Pyithu Hluttaw candidate running in Pabedan Township, is from a minority religion, and this is the first time for such a win in the election. We are not saying that Si Thu Maung should not win because he has a different religious belief. People voted him since he is from the NLD party, instead of voting for him after studying what he can do for the country. In the same township, Myint Khaing from the Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP), Arkar Kyaw from the Union Betterment Party (UBP) and Ei Thinzar Maung from the New Society Party (NSP) participated. Ei Thin Zar Maung from the New Society Party won the most votes during the election campaign, however, Si Thu Maung won since people only voted because of the NLD party logo.
“So far, people have voted based on the party logo, instead of thinking about what a certain party or a certain candidate could do for the development of their township or the country. They also did it in the 2015 election and they are still doing it.” said Thet Thet Khine, the chairman of the PPP party to Myanmar Insider Business Journal.
According to the Union Election Commission, 19 parties won the election, with the NLD winning 920 seats, followed by the Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) with 71 seats and the Shan Nationalities League for Democracy (SNLD) with 42 seats.
The Landslide Victory of NLD
Back in 2015, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi was able to campaign successfully and many people voted for the NLD party, hoping to begin democratization, which resulted in a landslide victory.
No party was able to effectively campaign for the 2020 election because of the spread of COVID-19 in the country and around the world.
However, although Aung San Suu Kyi may not be able to campaign as efficiently as she did during the previous election, her social media and party activities have worked efficiently for NLD. Moreover, her defence at the International Court of Justice has become a key factor in gaining support from people.
For whatever reason it is, NLD has already won the largest number of constituencies in the parliament and so we only need to see what will happen.
Opposition parties have stated that NLD still cannot make effective changes for the country although they have made a vow that they will be focusing on constitutional amendments and peace processes.
During the five-year rule of the NLD government, the peace process has not changed significantly and by 2020, the conflicts have become much worse.
It remains to be seen whether NLD will be able to work on the peace process effectively during its five-year rule. They also need to rehabilitate businesses that are being hit by COVID-19.
USDP with Such a Great Loss
USDP lost more in the 2020 election than they did in the last 2015 election.
Back in 2015, 1,122 candidates ran and 117 won and this year, 1,129 candidates ran and only 71 won.
USDP only won the election in Shan State, which is a constituency with military families. They even lost in places such as Yamethin, Pyawbwe and Meiktila, which used to be on the side of the USDP.
The number of MPs from the opposition party who need to act as counter measure to the ruling party is so small that only Than Htay, the chairman of the party and Soe Thein, the former minister will have to take the lead.
USDP members were skeptical of the results of the election.
Suspicious factors include opening of ballot boxes during early voting period, people in some townships receiving two ballot papers on the election day when they are supposed to be receiving only one and the dead people being included in the voter list. These are the factors that have raised questions for the USDP and the Union Election Commission.
Therefore, USDP has declared that they cannot accept the result of the 2020 election and have requested to hold the election again within a month with the cooperation of the Union Election Commission with the military.
USDP has issued a directive not to sign the winning / losing voter list (Form 19), but some winning MPs have signed, according to the election commission. The USDP MPs who won in Shan State have signed the Form 19, and some have not. Ethnic parties have called for a re-election in some ethnic areas due to the lack of free and fair elections.
They have made protests in Ottara Thiri Township in Naypyitaw, proclaiming that they do not want the Union Election Commission and they are not satisfied with the result of the election.
The Election Commission said in a press conference that they would re-examine the allegations if the evidence is submitted.
Moreover, other parties and election observers have commented that the party’s demands are unlikely to be met. The USDP has lodged more than 550 cases of electoral fraud with the Union Election Commission and more than 80 cases have been filed at the relevant police stations, according to Khin Yee, the party’s vice chairman through the USDP’s official Facebook page.
With the election unlikely to be rerun, it remains to be seen how Than Htay and Soe Thein from USDP will check and balance the NLD.
The new parties that did not do well in the election include People’s Pioneer Party (PPP), Union Betterment Party (UBP) and People’s Party.
Thet Thet Khine, the chairman of the PPP party, resigned from the NLD party in 2019. After her resignation, she formed the PPP party with the cooperation of some close business owners.The party is made up of businessmen, scholars, former civil servants, ethnic groups and young people. This new party ran for the first time in this year’s election, with 234 candidates.
However, the party didn’t win in any constituencies in which it contested. Dr Thet Thet Khine herself ran in Mayangone Township, in which she lost to Dr May Win Myint from NLD. Dr May Win Myint received more than 90,000 votes, while Dr Thet Thet Khine received just over 7,000 votes.
The Union Betterment Party, founded by Thura U Shwe Mann, contested with 924 candidates, but the situation was not good. Another party was Ko Ko Gyi’s People’s Party, which ran for 144 seats and did not win any seats.
By looking at these facts, it is undeniable that people are still voting for the party, not the candidates.