Sunday 11 December 2016

Myanmar ruling party chief concedes defeat to democracy opposition

Tim McLaughlin

Published 09/11/2015 | 07:38

Leader of Myanmar's opposition National League for Democracy party, Aung San Suu Kyi
Leader of Myanmar's opposition National League for Democracy party, Aung San Suu Kyi
Aung San Suu Kyi, with ink still imprinted on the little finger of her left hand after voting Sunday Credit: Mark Baker (AP)

The acting chairman of Myanmar's ruling party conceded defeat to Aung San Suu Kyi's opposition on Monday and said he would accept the result of the country's first free national election in 25 years.

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"We lost," Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) leader Htay Oo told Reuters in an interview.

The vote count is still under way and no results have been officially announced, but preliminary reports from around the country indicate a wide margin of victory for Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy (NLD).

"We have to find out the reason why we lost," Htay Oo, a close ally of President Thein Sein said.

Supporters of National League for Democracy (NLD) cheer as they watch partial election results on a TV monitor outside NLD offices in Mandalay, Myanmar Credit: Olivia Harris
Supporters of National League for Democracy (NLD) cheer as they watch partial election results on a TV monitor outside NLD offices in Mandalay, Myanmar Credit: Olivia Harris

"However, we do accept the results without any reservations. We still don't know the final results for sure."

Htay Oo said he was surprised by the scale of his defeat in his own parliamentary constituency in Hinthada, in the delta region, considered the heartland of the USDP's rural support base.

A Kayan woman, from one of Myanmar's ethnic minority groups, shows her ink-stained finger after she voted, in front of a polling station in Panpet Credit: Nay Lynn Thike
A Kayan woman, from one of Myanmar's ethnic minority groups, shows her ink-stained finger after she voted, in front of a polling station in Panpet Credit: Nay Lynn Thike

"I wasn't expecting it because we were able to do a lot for the people in this region." he said.

"Anyway, it's the decision of the people."

The opposition party of Myanmar's Aung San Suu Kyi has won more than 80 pc of the general election votes counted so far in the densely populated central regions, National League for Democracy (NLD) spokesman Win Htein said on Monday.

Outside the central area, the NLD had so far won more than 65 pc of votes cast in the states of Mon and Kayin, he said.

Results from the five other states were not yet known.

Reuters

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