Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier issued the following statement in Berlin today (12 November) on the parliamentary elections in Myanmar:
I am glad that the parliamentary elections in Myanmar were conducted peacefully and congratulate the NLD and its leader, Nobel Peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, on its impressive electoral victory.
The elections show that the transition in Myanmar is progressing well. They also show that the people of Myanmar want to have their democratic say on the future of their country.
It is a hopeful sign that the defeated ruling party and the military have accepted the results. I would expressly like to commend President Thein Sein for congratulating the winners.
We trust that the handover of power will be peaceful and orderly. If it is, these elections could be a declaration of freedom that will be heard far beyond Myanmar borders, throughout the whole region.
The new government has its work cut out. It will have to continue the process of national reconciliation with minorities, foster the integration of the many ethnic groups in the country, including the Rohingya, and above all, it will have to advance the economic development of this still poor land.
Germany and the EU will remain close and supportive partners to Myanmar as it tackles these challenges.
Myanmar has taken another important step towards democracy.
According to the latest counts, the NLD has won an absolute majority in both chambers of parliament. An initial report from the EU election observation mission has said that the elections were well organised and conducted. It described the election campaign as free and peaceful; on election day the secrecy of the vote was respected; no serious incidents took place. However, the polls were cancelled in war‑torn areas (about 600 villages and townships). In some areas floods prevented people from voting. Most of the Rohingya minority were excluded from the register, even though some of them have lived in Myanmar for generations.