Top of the Morning: Aung San Suu Kyi Wins Parliamentary Elections; Western and Arab Countries Stepping Up Aid to Syrian Opposition; Mali Updates

Top Stories from DAWNS Digest. 

Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy Takes Landslide Victory in Myanmar

Myanmar’s much-anticipated parliamentary bi-elections took place over the weekend and it looks like Nobel Prize winner’s National League for Democracy Party has won 42 out of 43 contested seats.  The NLD will still remain a small party– not all parliamentary seats were up for election — but it looks like Aung San Suu Kyi may be on track to become prime minister one day soon of a country that had her locked up for 20 years. “Sunday’s vote is seen as a key test of the government’s commitment to recent democratic reforms. More than six million people were eligible to vote on Sunday, with a total of 160 candidates from 17 parties, including six new to the political stage, contesting for 45 parliamentary seats. The number of seats at stake is not enough to threaten the military-backed ruling party’s overwhelming majority, secured in full elections in 2010. Suu Kyi’s apparent victory had been widely expected, despite complaints by the NLD over alleged voting irregularities and campaign intimidation.” (Al Jazeera

Western and Arab Countries Step Up Aid to Syria Opposition

It’s been over a week since Bashar Al Assad said he would abide by Kofi Annan’s plan and halt the violence. That pledge seems to have been totally empty, and the international community is looking around for Plan B. For now, this is what they’ve settled on:  “Arab and Western nations pledged millions of dollars in aid to Syria’s opposition leadership and said the apparent failure of a United Nations-backed cease-fire could lead them to take tougher steps to bolster the rebels against President Bashar al-Assad’s regime. Separately, the rebel fighters got support, with several Arab Gulf nations pledging financial backing and the U.S. saying it will give them communications gear. The U.S. also agreed to give $12 million in humanitarian aid. Taken together, the moves taken Sunday represent the most material support to Syria’s opposition yet and signal that Mr. Assad’s opponents are taking independent steps.”  (WSJ


The deadline is looming for an ECOWAS ultimatum to the coup-leaders to restore civilian control or face widespread sanction. (VOA

The coup leaders say they will restore the nation’s original constitution after announcing a newly drafted constitution last week. (Al Jazeera

Tuareg rebels took control of the garrison town of Gao on Saturday. It is home to the largest military base in the north. (BBC

Tuareg rebels took another victory on Sunday with the capture of tourist hotspot Timbuktu. (BBC