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Despite strong reporting before and during the elections, infringements on media freedoms persisted.
Freedom of assembly was also under threat, as student protests were violently quelled.
Unlike in the 2010 elections, international electoral observers concluded that the 2015 electoral process was generally credible and the outcome reflected the will of the people, despite a campaign period marked by anti-Muslim rhetoric, the exclusion of Muslim candidates, and the disenfranchisement of hundreds of thousands of Rohingya, most of whom are Muslim.
The NLD won 135 of the 168 elected seats in the upper house, 255 of 330 elected seats in the lower house, and 496 of 659 seats across 14 state and regional legislatures.
However, military appointees would retain 25 percent of the seats in both houses, and as many as 1 million people—most of them from the ethnic Rohingya minority—were disenfranchised, having been excluded from the voter list ahead of the elections.
Offensives by the military against various ethnic rebel groups and the government’s unwillingness to engage in a comprehensive political dialogue continued to hamper the prospect of a nationwide cease-fire agreement in 2015.
Myanmar’s civil liberties rating improved from 6 to 5, and it received an upward trend arrow, after the opposition National League for Democracy won a landslide victory in parliamentary elections that were seen as largely free and fair, notwithstanding the disenfranchisement of the Rohingya minority.
Opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) won an overwhelming victory in November 2015 parliamentary elections, and the ruling Union and Solidarity Development Party (USDP) accepted the results, setting the stage for the peaceful formation of a new government in early 2016.