Myanmar’s opposition moves towards big election victory
Yangon – Vote counting continued on Tuesday with Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi’s opposition party predicting a landslide victory after decades of often brutal military rule.
The National League for Democracy (NLD), led by Suu Kyi, won 49 of 54 regional seats as of Tuesday morning, while the ruling Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) managed to win only three.
The NLD has won 145 of the total 160 seats in officially declared results.
Questions still remain, however, over how Myanmar’s long-ruling generals would handle a possible election defeat.
The military government handed power to a semi-civilian government in 2011, but the army still dominates politics after decades in power. Twenty-five percent of seats in parliament is reserved for the army.
Even with a win for her party, Suu Kyi cannot become president, according to the country’s constitution as she is married to a UK citizen and her children have UK passports.
NLD had won about 70 percent of the votes counted by midday on Monday, party spokesman Win Htein said. The country’s first openly contested election in decades on Sunday saw an estimated 80 percent voter turnout.
“I’m very excited, NLD won in my township of Kyi Myin Dine,” said Daw Khin Myo Sett, 39, who voted for the first time. “I hope that they will improve education as well as healthcare and give my children a better life.”
At least 2,000 people braved an afternoon downpour on Monday in the commercial capital, Yangon. Supporters waved the party’s red flag while singing the campaign theme song, shouting “NLD, we will win.”
Initial results showed the NLD winning seats in its stronghold of Yangon, and even in the capital Naypyidaw, where the ruling USDP was expected to win.
Suu Kyi called for the country to remain “calm, peaceful and stable” as it awaited the outcome of the election.
“There is no official result yet, but the people already know who has won,” she told her supporters outside NLD headquarters.
Source: Al Jazeera