Myanmar election: Suu Kyi’s NLD wins landslide victory

Myanmar election: Suu Kyi’s NLD wins landslide victory

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The National League for Democracy has won a landslide victory in Myanmar’s historic election, say vote officials.
With more than 80% of seats declared, Aung San Suu Kyi’s party has more than the two-thirds it needs to choose the president, bringing an end to decades of military-backed rule.But a quarter of seats were assigned uncontested to the military, meaning it remains hugely influential.
Under the constitution Ms Suu Kyi cannot become president herself.
It specifically bars anyone whose children were born foreign nationals from holding the job. Both her sons are British.
But Ms Suu Kyi, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate who spent decades under military-imposed house arrest, has insisted she would lead the country anyway if her party won.
Sunday’s election was the first openly contested poll in Myanmar – also known as Burma – in 25 years.
By early on Friday, the NLD needed only two more votes to reach the threshold required to give it a majority in both houses of parliament.
Then in a midday announcement, the electoral commission said the party had taken 348 of the 664 seats in the two houses of parliament.
Final results are not expected to come in for several days, while the process of choosing a new president will not begin until January, when parliament reconvenes.
Our correspondent says the election has been remarkable both in the peaceful and largely fair way it was run and by the response of the losing side.
Current President Thein Sein and the head of the military have already said they would respect the outcome of the election and work with the new government.
Given the military’s 25% stake in the parliament, Ms Suu Yi will have to work closely with them to avoid instability.
They are expected to being talks next week on how to move forward.
About 30 million people were eligible to vote in the election – turnout was estimated at about 80%.
It was widely seen as a fair vote though there were reports of irregularities, and hundreds of thousands of people – including the Muslim Rohingya minority, who are not recognised as citizens – were denied voting rights.
The ruling military-backed Union Solidarity Development Party (USDP) – which won the last, widely criticised election five years ago – has so far gained about 5% of seats contested. – BBC News

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