Yangon – Burmese voters voted Saturday in a by-election, a rare local test of support for contentious leader Aung San Suu Kyi's party at half term.
Aung San Suu Kyi, led by the National League for Democracy (NLD), came to power in 2015 and ended decades of military rule, but her term has since been overshadowed by her silence over the Rohingya crisis. a Muslim minority forced into exile, and by the stagnation of peace negotiations with insurgent groups in neglected border areas.
Only 13 warrants are in play in this second by-election since the national election three years ago, but these are scattered throughout the country and include parliamentary seats and seats in local regional assemblies, coveted by nearly sixty -seven candidates from about twenty parties.
The first results should be known Sunday.
"I voted for LND this morningMaung Maung, a 34-year-old computer scientist living in Tamwe County, south of Yangon, told AFP.I was a staunch supporter of the NLD for years, but in the years that the NLD has been in power, there have been failures that they are trying to rectify", he added, without giving more details.
"I will support it until my death", said Aye Soe, a 52-year-old street vendor, referring to the Burmese leader.
But the reputation of Aung San Suu Kyi, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, has been tarnished on the international scene by the Rohingya crisis. More than 720,000 members of this Muslim minority fled to neighboring Bangladesh following abuses by the Burmese army in August 2017.
Accumulated in refugee camps, they described murders, rapes and villages burned by the military. Burma, for its part, said that the military have only defended themselves against attacks by Rohingya insurgents.
United Nations investigators have requested that the International Criminal Court be seized and that the military be tried for genocide.