YANGON, Myanmar, Nov. 13 (UPI) -- Aung San Suu Kyi's opposition party has been confirmed as Myanmar's choice to lead the country into a democratic era after nearly 50 years of military rule.
For Suu Kyi -- a Nobel Prize laureate who spent 15 years under house arrest after returning home from Britain -- her National League for Democracy is expected to gradually reform the country's governmental structure after a landslide victory in Sunday's vote.
Discussions of policy played little part in the election -- it was all about Suu Kyi, and like Poland's Lech Walesa and South Africa's Nelson Mandela before her, the public face of the rebellion will now be tested as leader of the nation.
Suu Kyi's father, Aung San, negotiated the country's independence from the British empire in 1947 and was assassinated by his rivals.
She returned to Myanmar -- then known as Burma -- in 1988 to temporarily care for her ailing mother, and emerged as leader of a popular uprising against the military dictatorship. Between 1989 and 2011 she was the world's most famous political prisoner. Frequently under house arrest several times, her Nobel Prize was awarded in absentia.
Now, at 70, her party will lead the country, though her leadership could be in question. The dictatorship, with Suu Kyi in mind, inserted a clause into the constitution barring anyone with foreign-born children from serving as president. Both her children were born in Britain, so until she can change the law, the woman many voters call "Mother" will likely be a presence with a proxy president instead of an officeholder.
She said she will be "above the president." There is speculation Tin Oo, 89, a former army general and NLD veteran, will be appointed president, but the politically autocratic Suu Kyi has kept her silence on the matter.
Her administration faces significant reform opportunities in Myanmar. Military generals running the country have engaged in "crony capitalism" for years but have admitted defeat at the polls and are prepared to hand over power.
She seeks to take charge of the peace process between warring ethnic groups in the country, and although the economy had a growth rate of 7 percent in 2014 and foreign investment has increased since 2011, Myanmar remains among Asia's poorest nations. Much of the country, outside urban areas, has no electricity or running water.
Buddhist nationalists have incited violence against Muslims, the Muslim Rohingya community remains persecuted and political prisoners remain in jail.
Myanmar will also seek a new relationship with China, which it views as a heavy-handed northern neighbor that has offered Myanmar little.
Suu Kyi's trip to the top, or near-top, of her country's government, has brought her to the point where she and her party must now deliver on promises made. She arrives with significant goodwill from the international community, and a promise from the previous regime of an orderly transfer of power. The election Sunday, with an 80 percent voter turnout, was an indication her country is ready for her.