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National League for Democracy - Policies

Individual Documents

Title: Can the NLD claim the high ground?
Date of publication: 28 July 2017
Description/subject: "Since the National League for Democracy’s landslide November 2015 election victory, discussions of Myanmar’s political future have taken an interesting turn. The NLD—ruling in coalition with military and ethnic political interests—needs to maintain a delicate balance. It cannot afford to alienate the millions of voters who showed it such exuberant support. In practice, this means certain issues are deemed too hot for strong policy action. At the top of that list is the Rohingya conundrum: a political stalemate that has morphed into a catastrophic humanitarian crisis. The NLD is not prepared to risk its support from among Buddhist voters who resent any suggestion that the Rohingya, or other Muslims, deserve equal treatment from state authorities. The military also appears to have determined that any shift in NLD discussion of the topic threatens the red lines around its continued partnership with the elected government. For a long time, it was possible for activists from around the world, and from inside Myanmar, to project their personal expectations onto a hypothetical NLD government. Aung San Suu Kyi was a convenient symbol of peaceful resistance to military rule. Unsullied by the pragmatics of day to day decision making, her supporters, from near and far, rejoiced in her defiant purity: her Nobel Peace Prize; her years of imprisonment; her sacrifice of self and family; her steely and dignified resolve. The world fell in love with the idea that she could lead a democratic and inclusive country, where justice would prevail, and where a popular mandate would right history’s wrongs. Unfortunately, in this model, wishful thinking often substitutes for careful analysis of the challenges confronting every Myanmar government, as well as the specific limitations encountered by the NLD. Their coalition with the military is the engine for an evolving compromise about the distribution of power in the country, with the 2008 constitution setting the terms of the army’s continuing dominance of those areas where it perceives its core interests at stake. Nobody in a position of real power, least of all Aung San Suu Kyi, has made any serious move to question the basis of this arrangement. Where the NLD previously proposed constitutional amendments, the focus remained on clearing obstacles to Aung San Suu Kyi’s personal ambitions, rather than to deleting the military’s controlling stake. The footwork required to allow Aung San Suu Kyi’s elevation to the new role of State Counsellor goes to show that the military has few serious concerns about her capacity to challenge their mandate. In fact, they have Aung San Suu Kyi exactly where they want her..."
Author/creator: Nicholas Farrelly
Language: English
Source/publisher: "New Mandala"
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 22 December 2017

Title: Suu Kyi’s Myanmar, one year on
Date of publication: 27 April 2017
Description/subject: "Twelve months ago, Aung San Suu Kyi was appointed State Counsellor of Myanmar, becoming the de facto leader of the National League for Democracy (NLD) Government that swept to power in (relatively) free and fair elections in 2015. Over the past several weeks, both the government and Suu Kyi herself have been subject to searching reviews by Myanmar-watchers and other commentators. To varying degrees, most have expressed disappointment with the NLD's performance during its first year in office. Even allowing for the unrealistically high expectations held both within and outside the country, the new government has failed to deliver on its promises. Foreign observers have been particularly critical of Suu Kyi's repeated refusal to intervene on behalf of the mostly stateless Muslim Rohingyas..."
Author/creator: Andrew Selth
Language: English
Source/publisher: "Lowy Interpreter"
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 27 April 2017

Title: Discord, not devotion, will help Aung San Suu Kyi succeed - Myanmar's leader is burdened by deferential politics
Date of publication: 30 March 2017
Description/subject: "It is not surprising that at the end of the first year of the National League for Democracy government of Myanmar, led by State Counselor and party chairperson Aung San Suu Kyi, commentators have been quick to summarize the year negatively. After all, newspapers and blogs are more avidly read if they bring news of fresh disasters, not the mundane, nitty-gritty, of the hard slog of governing. However, in the case of Myanmar there are other causes for the several tales of woe that have emerged in recent days. The first is that the NLD had no experience of governing before taking power five months after the 2015 elections. Moreover, the NLD is not a political party of the kind we normally think of. It had no articulate and developed set of policy alternatives and no carefully conceived strategies of implementation, nor did it have an ideological drive to give it momentum to govern. Rather, after being suppressed for two decades, it emerged as a disjointed organization with only one goal -- replacing the military government. This it has only partially achieved, thanks to the artful way the army structured the constitution to ensure that it maintained the ability to control the pace of political change. Second is the lionized position of Suu Kyi..."
Author/creator: Robert H. Taylor
Language: English
Source/publisher: Nikkei Asian Review
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 28 April 2017

Title: Economic reform is a marathon, not a sprint
Date of publication: 01 August 2016
Description/subject: "The launch of the government’s economic policy last week was always meant to be the occasion for an announcement of a broad set of economic principles, rather than a detailed set of policy measures for individual sectors and industries..."
Author/creator: Sean Turnell
Language: English
Source/publisher: "Myanmar Times"
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 02 August 2016

Title: Government reveals 12-point economic policy
Date of publication: 29 July 2016
Description/subject: "The government has presented its long-awaited economic policy on July 29, highlighting the importance of developing a market-oriented system “in all sectors” and establish an economic framework in support of national reconciliation...Stakeholders looking for a detailed timeline or structured plan were left disappointed. Some felt the three-page document was too vague to be useful, while others were more forgiving, noting that the government has been in power for just four months, and has not had time to write detailed policy papers. On July 29, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi presented the policy to diplomats, businesspeople and donors. Most reporters were told to wait outside, but a 12-point summary was passed to members of the media after the event. A longer English-language document seen by The Myanmar Times elaborates on some of the key points..."
Author/creator: Aye Thidar Kyaw, Clare Hammond
Language: English
Source/publisher: "Myanmar Times"
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 01 August 2016

Title: Analyzing the Direction of Economic Policy in a NLD-Governed Myanmar
Date of publication: 26 December 2015
Description/subject: "...Decision making in Burma has long been highly-centralized, and that has been deeply problematic - politically as well as economically. The NLD has made a number of commitments with respect to creating a governing apparatus that delivers greater 'say' to Burma's ethnic nationalities, and I can see no reason why this will not be honored. It won't come overnight of course, but over time I do think there will be significant decentralization of economic policy-making in Burma..."
Author/creator: Sean Turnell interviewed by Keith W. Rabin
Language: English
Source/publisher: KWR International
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 01 August 2016

Title: NLD 2015 Election Manifesto (English)
Date of publication: 14 September 2015
Description/subject: "Note on the translation: This document is the authorised English-language translation of the original Burmese-language manifesto. In case of any perceived discrepancy between the two versions, the Burmeselanguage manifesto remains the definitive version."
Language: English
Source/publisher: National League for Democracy (NLD)
Format/size: pdf (179K)
Date of entry/update: 12 January 2016