USDP Campaign Parade

November 6th, 2015

It's two days before Myanmar's landmark 2015 general elections. After two weeks of travel throughout the country, it's clear that there's a lot of excitement that the time has finally come for a free election. A win by the Aung San Suu Kyi's opposition party, the National League for Democracy (NLD) seems likely. The only question is, will the military allow it?

The incumbent Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP), led by the then President of Myanmar, mounted a massive parade as part of its campaign. This one, held on the outskirts of Yangon, driving right through NLD territory and past NLD offices in an attempt to shore up the vote. I had heard there were reports that the USDP was promising a few dollars and a free meal to those that turned up to support them. So, it's unclear how many of USDP supporters in the parade actually went on to vote for USDP candidates.

Two days later, the voice of the people was heard, and the NLD won a supermajority of the seats in the national parliament. Finally, it seems, the time for democracy and reform in Myanmar has arrived. I am overjoyed by this development, but it must be a bumpy road ahead. Will it democracy survive in Myanmar? And will the country ever change its name back to Burma? Only time will tell.