Date: Dec 21, 2020
National League for Democracy’s second term in Myanmar

This discussion will start at 4:00 p.m. IST.

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The November elections in Myanmar witnessed the reinstatement of National League for Democracy (NLD) party for the second term. In contrast to the wave of optimism that greeted the NLD’s landslide victory in 2015, the elections this year were held amidst surging COVID-19 outbreak, mounting ethnic conflicts and economic hardship. The massive electoral win reflects faith among the populace on the NLD government and its de-facto leader, Aung San Suu Kyi. The NLD’s second term holds importance for the country and the region at large. Several problems faced by the NLD in the first term will continue to pose challenges, including political reforms and ethnic conflicts. Furthermore, the economic impact of the global pandemic and growing major power competition in the region are going to add to existing challenges.

How would the relations between the NLD and the Tatmadaw (the military) play out in its second term? Would the NLD change its approach to bringing about constitutional reforms and in taking forward the ethnic peace process? How would the NLD government navigate the rapidly changing regional geopolitics marked by China’s growing assertion and countervailing strategies of other major powers?