Giving Compass' Take:
- Sean Zeigler writes about the roles played by elections, electoral institutions, and popular opinion in the recent military coup in Myanmar.
- How are governance and coups addressed by SDG #16 (Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions)? How can funders support the achievement of the UN's Sustainable Development Goals close to home and around the world?
- Read about protests and civil unrest in Myanmar.
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The recent coup d’état in Myanmar is more evidence that democracy is indeed fragile. Myanmar is by no means what anyone would call a functioning democracy. But after several decades of military rule, there was a burgeoning hope that Myanmar was at least on the path towards increased political representation for its multiethnic population.
Just last November, the country held only its second truly contested election in decades—the result of which secured another win for the National League for Democracy (NLD). The NLD is led by Aung San Suu Kyi, the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize laureate who spent fifteen years under house arrest before emerging as Myanmar’s de facto civilian leader five years ago.
While the behavior of Myanmar’s military looks reckless and defiant to many, it does display an ironic logic. Yes, the NLD won 83 percent of the parliament’s available seats in last November’s elections. And, yes, Suu Kyi looks to have procured more backing in 2020 than she did in 2015, the last time elections were held. Moreover, it looks as if the military in Myanmar staged its coup because the election results indicated support for Suu Kyi and the NLD were too strong. However, the military’s wager may have been precisely the opposite: that although the elections showed that Suu Kyi and the NLD won enough votes to win the election, at the same time they didn’t win enough votes to offset the consequences of a putsch.
Read the full article about Myanmar's coup by Sean Zeigler at National Interest.