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Suu Kyi seeking to meet with military with landslide in sight

Myanmar’s democracy champion Aung San Suu Kyi, moving closer to an absolute majority in parliament on Wednesday, requested a meeting with the president and the powerful military chief to discuss national reconciliation.

Suu Kyi’s opposition National League for Democracy (NLD) has won over 90 percent of the seats declared so far in the lower house and is well ahead in the upper house and regional assemblies.

If the final results confirm the trend, Suu Kyi’s triumph will sweep out an old guard of former generals that has run Myanmar since the junta handed over power to President Thein Sein’s semi-civilian government in 2011. But the army retains formidable power in Myanmar’s political institutions after nearly 50 years of running the country and it is unclear how Suu Kyi and the generals will work together.

In letters to the commander-in-chief and the president dated Nov. 10 which the NLD released to media on Wednesday, Suu Kyi requested meetings within a week to discuss the basis of “national reconciliation.”

“It is very important for the dignity of the country and to bring peace of mind to the people,” Suu Kyi said in the letter.

Suu Kyi earlier retained her own seat and will return as MP for her Kawhmu constituency in Rangoon – though she leads the NLD she is barred by the constitution from being president, writes the BBC. But she has said “that won’t stop me from making all the decisions”. The election commission is slowly releasing results. The USDP, which has been in power in Myanmar since 2011, has taken 10 of the 491 seats being contested in both houses of parliament, compared to 163 by the NLD.

A quarter of the 664 parliamentary seats are set aside for the army. For the NLD to have the winning majority and be able to select the president, it will need at least two-thirds of the remaining seats – or 329. About 30 million people were eligible to vote in Sunday’s election in Myanmar. Turnout was estimated at about 80%. Hundreds of thousands of people – including the Muslim Rohingya minority, who are not recognised as citizens – were denied voting rights.

Meanwhile, Phil Robertson, deputy director of Human Rights Watch’s Asia division, expressed concern that the election commission was taking so long to announce final results.

“It’s worrisome that the results are taking so long to dribble in, and of course, we’re looking closely at what this means,” Robertson told Al Jazeera. “But far more concerning is the fact that the [Union Election Commission] has the power of investigator, judge and jury in assessing and deciding any election complaints.

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