Obama congratulates Aung San Suu Kyi on success in Myanmar elections
Her party is leading and may gain control of the nation's parliament
President Obama spoke by phone with Aung San Suu Kyi on Wednesday to congratulate her on the success of Suu Kyi’s National League of Democracy in the Myanmar elections, the White House press office said Thursday.
The NLD has won 327 seats so far and needs two more seats to win a majority in the country’s parliament, the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw. It will take at least two weeks to tabulate all the results, a presidential spokesman told CNN.
In his conversation with Suu Kyi, Obama noted that formation of a new government “could be an important step forward in the nation’s democratic transition,” the White House said. He praised her efforts to create a more inclusive government in Myanmar, also known as Burma.
The president also spoke by phone with Myanmar President Thein Sein. The two leaders talked about the importance for all parties to respect official results and to work together to form a new government, the White House said.
The landmark election is seen as a test of the powerful military’s willingness to let the country continue along a path toward full democracy, after decades of military-dominated rule. In an encouraging sign, Thein Sein recently agreed to meet with Suu Ky.
Suu Kyi won a seat in the Kawhmu constituency in Yangon, the country’s largest city, the Union Election Commission said Wednesday.
But the Nobel Peace laureate can’t become president. A change in Myanmar’s constitution, drafted by the military, prevents anyone with foreign family members from becoming the nation’s leader.
Suu Kyi’s late husband was British and her children hold British passports.
CNN’s Manny Maung, Ed Payne and Phil Robertson contributed to this report.