Myanmar polls: Suu Kyi’s pro-democracy party ahead

RSTV Bureau
Yangon: Leader of Myanmar's National League for Democracy party, Aung San Suu Kyi visits a polling station on the outskirts Yangon, Myanmar, Sunday, Nov. 8, 2015.  Photo - PTI

Yangon: Leader of Myanmar’s National League for Democracy party, Aung San Suu Kyi visits a polling station on the outskirts Yangon, Myanmar, Sunday, Nov. 8, 2015.
Photo – PTI

Aung San Suu Kyi’s pro-democracy party secured leads in nearly all of the first batch of seats to be declared from Myanmar’s election, as the opposition National League for Democracy (NLD) eyed massive gains to carry it to power after decades of military dominance. Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy’s hopes of a decisive victory surged on Monday afternoon after poll authorities handed it 15 of the first 16 seats to be counted in Yangon.

Earlier party spokesman Win Htein told the press that unofficial tallies showed the opposition was “on track to win more than 70 per cent of seats around the country.”

The principal opposition party NLD needs 67 per cent of available parliamentary seats to enjoy a majority. That would be enough to overwhelm the ruling USDP and their military allies — who are gifted 25 per cent of seats by a constitution scripted to ensure they still have a major stake in the future.

The army-backed USDP, or Union Solidarity and Development Party, said it was ready for a wipeout in the commercial capital Yangon, while several of its heavyweights – including its chairman — lost their seats.

Yangon : Leader of Myanmar's National League for Democracy party, Aung San Suu Kyi, delivers a speech with party patron Tin Oo, left, from a balcony of her party headquarters in Yangon, Myanmar, Monday, Nov. 9, 2015.  Photo - PTI

Yangon : Leader of Myanmar’s National League for Democracy party, Aung San Suu Kyi, delivers a speech with party patron Tin Oo, left, from a balcony of her party headquarters in Yangon, Myanmar, Monday, Nov. 9, 2015.
Photo – PTI

On the other hand, Suu Kyi, who is still barred from the presidency under the army-drafted constitution, remained cautious, but hinted at victory.

“It is not the time to congratulate our candidates who we think have won the election,” she told supporters and journalists from the balcony of her party’s Yangon headquarters.

“But people have an idea of the result even if I don’t say it,” she added amid her supporter’s jubilation.

According to Myanmar’s election authorities, the preliminary figures would be released within 48 hours of Sunday’s vote, and a full nationwide count in 10 days or so. Meanwhile, NLD supporters were buoyant on the streets of the capital city Yangon.

“I have no doubt about the results. I think everything is going to change,” said Yee Yee, 30, a market spice seller.

Even the state-backed Global New Light of Myanmar declared the “dawn of a new era”, while USDP heavyweight Shwe Mann conceded on his Facebook page that he had lost his seat to his NLD challenger.

(With inputs from the Agencies)