Myanmar's de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi led her political party to a landslide victory three years ago, ending decades of military-backed rule and raising hopes for democracy. Today, the dominance of her ruling party — the National League for Democracy — is gradually eroding ahead of the country's next election in 2020.
Suu Kyi, who is officially barred from the presidency but still rules as State Counselor through trusted proxies, has experienced a stunning fall from grace over her mishandling of minority and indigenous groups. Myanmar is dominated by Buddhist-majority Bamars who have long clashed with smaller factions such as the Kachin people, who are mostly Christian, and the Rohingya,a predominantly Muslim community.
Suu Kyi, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, has been accused of turning a blind eye to the military's violent persecution against the Rohingya in the state of Rakhine that escalated in August 2017. The state's brutal crackdown has displaced thousands, triggering a mass exodus of Rohingya refugees to neighboring Bangladesh.