Unofficial count gives Suu Kyi’s party victory in Myanmar

NLD supporters in Myanmar
NLD supporters in Myanmar (AP)
16:15pm, Tue 10 Nov 2020
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Myanmar’s ruling National League for Democracy party, led by Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, has won an absolute majority of seats in parliament in the election, according to an unofficial tabulation of the vote.

The official results of Sunday’s election posted online by the state Union Election Commission lagged far behind, but also showed the advantage going to the NLD.

They confirmed that Ms Suu Kyi won the seat she contested and the NLD claimed victory for a second five-year term on Monday.

Yway Mal, an independent vote counting service, said the NLD had won 366 seats so far in the combined upper and lower houses, exceeding the 322 needed for control.

The military-backed Union Development and Solidarity Party, the main opposition party, had so far captured 21 seats, the agency said. It said 48 seats were won by other parties.

Aung San Suu Kyi (AP)

Ms Suu Kyi’s party had been expected to win at the polls even though her administration has achieved only modest economic growth and failed to end the decades-long conflict with ethnic minority groups seeking more autonomy in the border areas they consider their homelands.

She remains by far the country’s most popular politician, a beloved figure because of her long non-violent struggle against military rule.

More than 90 parties contested the election and 37 million people were eligible to cast ballots, including five million first-time voters.

Ms Suu Kyi’s party won a landslide victory in the 2015 election to end more than five decades of military rule and make her Myanmar’s leader. However, the army-drafted 2008 constitution automatically grants the military enough seats in parliament to block constitutional change.

There was criticism, especially from abroad, that this year’s election was flawed. The criticism focused on the Muslim Rohingya minority, who are generally denied citizenship and not allowed to vote.

In 2017, their area in western Myanmar was targeted by a counter-insurgency programme by the army which drove around 740,000 Rohingya across the border to seek safety in neighbouring Bangladesh.

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