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US : Impediments to installing democratic government in Myanmar remain

Tuesday, Feb 2, 2016,12:20 IST By Metrovaartha A A A

Washington | With Myanmar’s new Parliament beginning the process to install Aung San Suu Kyi’s party as the first elected government in over 50 years, the US has hailed the development as a very important step forward but cautioned that impediments still lie ahead. Millions of people around the country, including many voting for the first time, elected their representatives on the 8th of November of last year, State Department spokesman John Kirby told reporters at his daily news conference, during which he congratulated all the elected members of the new parliament of Myanmar, which the US still calls as Burma.

The session yesterday marked a historic turn around for the National League for pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi’s Democracy party, which for years was suppressed by the military. The party won 80 per cent of the elected seats in general elections in November for the upper and lower houses, qualifying it to form a government. This outcome is a testament to the courage and sacrifice shown by the people of Burma over many years, including more than 100 former political prisoners who will now take their seats in Burma’s parliament, he said.

The seating of this parliament is a very important step forward in Burma’s democratic transition, although of course there remain important impediments to the realisation of full democratic and civilian government, he added. The US, he said, is encouraged by the commitment of Myanmar’s political leaders to work together in the spirit of national unity and reform. Kirby said the US is hopeful that this will continue throughout the transition period and beyond. We stand ready to support the new government and remain committed to assisting the people of Burma in their pursuit of democracy, development, and national reconciliation, he said. We look forward to providing support for these new parliamentarians as well as all the people in this country seeking to promote democratic practices in the coming years, Kirby said.