Whereas many inside Myanmar were thrilled at the symbolic victory conveyed in the NLD’s winning 43 of 44 available parliamentary seats, those on the border were less sanguine. More than one told me that participation in the corrupted (and corrupting) parliamentary political system would undermine any radical role the opposition could retain.
One suggested that the NLD should only have contested the minimum three seats necessary to legally remain a political party, effectively maintaining its status as outside and un-captured by the procedural political process. This would allow it to continue its oppositional role, “working to mobilise the people”. He continued, talking about Suu Kyi: “Outside of the national parliament she is a national leader. Inside, she just represents one constituency.”