WASHINGTON, DC—Representative Eliot L. Engel, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, today made the following statement on the election in Burma, which resulted in the National League for Democracy (NLD) winning enough seats in the Upper and Lower houses both to form a government and to select Burma's next President:

“Today, I join many others congratulating the people of Burma, the NLD and Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.

“Even as official election results in Burma are being tallied, the overwhelming victory by the NLD is a remarkable achievement considering that 25 percent of the legislative seats are reserved for the military.

“On this historic day, I extend personal congratulations to Aung San Suu Kyi.  Her life has as been devoted to democratic reform and change in her country.  As the recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize and the U.S. Congressional Gold Medal, she has been recognized around the world for her great personal sacrifice as a fierce defender of democratic values.  And though she is constitutionally barred from holding Burma's Presidency, today represents an incredible milestone for her and for the NLD in their effort to build a more inclusive and democratic Burma.

“I also want to recognize the current Burmese government and the USDP party for an election process that was in many ways credible and transparent.  Under USDP's leadership, Burma has undertaken unprecedented democratic reform.  I look ahead with hopes for a peaceful and smooth transition of power, to the strengthening of U.S.-Burma relations, and to the United States providing continued support and assistance as the newly elected NLD government assumes a leading role in Burma’s transition to democracy.”