Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) expects to have won only seven of 13 seats up for grabs in by-elections, a spokesman said on Sunday, conceding that Myanmar’s ruling party needed to do more for voters from ethnic minorities. The polls, held on Saturday, will not alter the balance of power but were seen as an early test ahead of a general election in 2020. Nobel laureate Suu Kyi promised to make ending the country’s decades-old ethnic conflicts her government’s top priority, but peace talks have stalled and fighting has intensified.
“We lost five out of six seats in ethnic areas. Ethnic people are not satisfied with our performance on the peace process,” said NLD spokesman Myo Nyunt, sharing the party’s understanding of the results ahead of an official announcement by the election commission.
“This result is a lesson for us. We will come up with a strategy for each constituency for the coming election.”
Suu Kyi has led Myanmar’s civilian administration since winning a majority in both houses of parliament in 2015 elections that ended decades of military rule.