Saturday 3 December 2016

Suu Kyi's party sweeping to power with more than 70pc of the votes

Esther Htusan in Yangon

Published 10/11/2015 | 02:30

Young supporters celebrate in the rain as they wait for official results of the election in front of the National League for Democracy Party head office at Yangon
Young supporters celebrate in the rain as they wait for official results of the election in front of the National League for Democracy Party head office at Yangon

Aung San Suu Kyi's party has claimed victory in virtually every seat in four states where results of Myanmar's historic parliamentary election were known, signalling a landslide that could give it the presidency.

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The announcement at the headquarters of the National League for Democracy (NLD) in the biggest city, Yangon, set off a new round of jubilation among the party's red-shirted supporters, who had already been celebrating the result of Sunday's vote.

The NLD said it had won 44 of the 45 lower house seats and all 12 of the upper house seats from the party stronghold of Yangon. It also won all 38 seats in Ayeyarwaddy state, all but one of the 40 in Bago, and 11 out of 19 lower house seats and all 10 upper house seats in Mon state. The trend was expected to continue in Myanmar's remaining 10 states.

Even without official results, it was clear that the Union Solidarity Development Party was facing a rout. The party is made up former junta members who ruled the country for a half-century and as a quasi-civilian government since 2011.

Aung Kyaw Kyaw, a 29-year-old pharmacist, said he didn't vote for the ruling party because "they were only former military people. If I voted for them, that means I am asking my own enemy to come back into my life".

Although the government's Union Election Commission did not announce the outcome of the Yangon races, the NLD has stationed representatives at counting centres and kept its own tallies that were relayed to its headquarters. The election commission has been slow in releasing the numbers.

Suu Kyi, the Nobel Peace Prize laureate and pro-democracy icon, had urged supporters earlier in the day not to provoke losing rivals, who mostly represent the former junta in the country also known as Burma.

Hours before the Yangon announcement, party spokesman Win Htein said the NLD had secured about 70pc of the vote counted by midday. Another spokesman, Nyan Win, put the number at 90pc. "We will win a landslide," Nyan Win said.

If those figures are confirmed by official results, it would mean that Suu Kyi's party would not only dominate parliament, but could also secure the presidency despite handicaps built into the constitution.

Irish Independent

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