Washington: US President Barack Obama today called his Myanmarese counterpart Thein Sein and opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi to congratulate them on the successful elections in the country which he said could be an important step forward in the country’s democratic transition.
“The President noted that the election and formation of a new government could be an important step forward in Burma’s democratic transition and the effort to forge a more peaceful and prosperous future,” the White House said in two similar statements issued after his calls to the two leaders.
Obama congratulated both the leaders for their participation in the historic parliamentary election on November 8, 2015.
The President commended Aung San Suu Kyi for “her tireless efforts” and sacrifice over so many years to promote a more inclusive, peaceful and democratic Myanmar.
Obama and Suu Kyi discussed the importance for all parties to respect the official results once announced and to work together in the spirit of unity to form an inclusive, representative government that reflects the will of the people, the White House said.
In his talks with Thein Sein, Obama commended the efforts of the Union Election Commission and others in the government for their work with political parties, civil society, and the media to overcome the significant challenges in organising and conducting the election.
“The two leaders discussed the importance for all parties to respect the official results once announced and to work together with a spirit of unity to form an inclusive, representative government that reflects the will of the people,” the White House said.
In a separate statement, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said the Burmese election was an important, though imperfect, step forward in the country’s long journey toward democracy.
“It was also an affirmation of the indispensable role the United States can and should play in the world as a champion of peace and progress,” she said.
“But we cannot forget that one election does not constitute true democracy – that takes a commitment to human rights, strong institutions, and a thriving civil society,” she said.
“And Burma still has a long way to go on everything from national reconciliation to constitutional reform to resolving long-running ethnic conflicts to addressing the plight of the Rohingya people,” Clinton said.
“But the Burmese people have shown once again that they are determined to keep moving forward toward a better future. As President, I will ensure that the United States continues to stand with them and with everyone around the world who seeks liberty and dignity,” she said.