Elections in Burma sustain hope for real democratic reform

April 3, 2012

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(AP/Khin Maung Win)
After claiming a seat in parliament, Burma's pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi arrived at the headquarters of her National League for Democracy party in Yangon.

Historic elections took place over the weekend in Burma. After two decades of house arrest, Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi finally won a seat in parliament. The election results, if confirmed, have her National League for Democracy party nearly sweeping the 45 districts that were being contested.

But with only seven percent of the seats in parliament up for grabs on Sunday, the election was largely symbolic.  The long-ruling military and its political allies still maintain significant power, and there are many uncertainties leading up the country’s general elections in 2015. Maureen Aung-Thwin, the director of the Burma Project at Open Society Foundations, joins Worldview to discuss the election and what these results mean for Burma’s future.