As the extent of the victory by the National League for Democracy starts to sink in, some of the losers are already thinking about the future and their potential role.
Outgoing MPs have mentioned the possible creation of a new, “third force” political party, while others have stressed the need to remain active in politics from outside parliament and act as a check on the NLD-controlled government and legislatures.

Speaking in the parliament building in Nay Pyi Taw, U Thein Nyunt, an outgoing MP whose New National Democracy Party won no seats in the November 8 election, said he was prepared to join forces with others in order to form a new organisation of “discipline”.

“We are considering setting up a third force, neither Union Solidarity and Development Party nor NLD, including independents,” he said, suggesting the possible participation of Yangon Region MP Daw Nyo Nyo Thin, whose bid to become an NLD candidate was rejected.

Attributing the NLD landslide to a reaction to “past rulers” and the effects of “celebrities and lopsided media”, he added that “real workers” risked being sidelined by those who make empty promises to give people “hope”.

Thanks to the absolute majority it won on November 8, the NLD will control both the next government, which will take office in late March, and the parliament, which will be sworn in during late January.

Noting the potential lack of a check and balance on the executive, U Thein Nyunt told The Myanmar Times that he would also watch the government’s actions closely from outside the parliament.

“We will support the government if they serve the state. But I will oppose any deviation from democracy, or from nationalism,” he said.

U Thein Nyunt’s call was echoed by some other outgoing MPs, who also pledged to do their best to rein in potential government excesses.

U Khine Maung Yi, a National Democratic Force MP from Ahlone who lost his bid for re-election, said he would remain active in politics but wasn’t interested in joining a new party.

“The constitution wasn’t amended yet and many other laws still need to be changed,” he said. “Until we have achieved our goal, every politician has a responsibility to involved in politics and to keep a close watch on the government.”

He said he was concerned at the possibility of conflict breaking out due to “unqualified” MPs being elected under the NLD banner.

“The 2015 election was all about choosing the [NLD] logo,” he said. “But the capabilities of the winning candidates and performance of the winning party over the next five years is very important. People will decide based on their performance.”