Obama congratulates Myanmar’s Suu Kyi after election victory
© Getty

President Obama phoned Aung San Suu Kyi, the democracy activist and Nobel Peace Prize winner, late Wednesday, praising her landmark victory in Myanmar’s elections earlier this week.

“The President commended her for her tireless efforts and sacrifice over so many years to promote a more inclusive, peaceful and democratic Burma,” the White House said in a statement, using the former name for the Asian nation.

ADVERTISEMENT

“The two leaders discussed the importance for all parties to respect the official results once announced and to work together in the spirit of unity to form an inclusive, representative government that reflects the will of the people."

Suu Kyi's political party, the National League for Democracy (NLD) received overwhelming support during last Sunday’s elections in Myanmar, taking 90 percent of parliamentary seats with 47 percent of seats declared, according to BBC News.

Myanmar President Thein Sein also congratulated Suu Kyi Thursday for her success during last weekend’s contest, the news outlet added.

Sein’s military-backed Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP), meanwhile, fared less favorably with Burmese voters. It has so far received 5 percent of Myanmar’s parliamentary seats, the BBC reported Thursday.

Myanmar has long struggled with its transition from military rule to civilian government. Obama has repeatedly called for peaceful democratic elections while maintaining cordial relations with Sein’s government.

He became the first U.S. president to visit Myanmar in 2012.

Obama will meet with Sein during an Asian leaders' summit in Malaysia next week, deputy security adviser Ben Rhodes said on Thursday.

Rhodes called the election "a historic milestone in enabling the people of Burma to vote for their parliamentary leaders."

Obama last year also challenged Burmese laws that are designed to prevent Suu Kyi from becoming president. The law in question bars candidates who have foreign national children. Suu Kyi had two children with her husband, a British national.

“I don’t understand a provision that would bar someone from being president because of who their children are,” Obama said in November 2014. "That doesn’t make sense to me."

Suu Kyi became one of the most recognizable political prisoners worldwide following her house arrest in 1989. She was imprisoned until November 2010 despite her party’s victory in Myanmar’s 1990 general election.

This story was updated at 12:48 p.m.