Suu Kyi’s party sweeps landmark Myanmar polls
MYANMAR: Democracy champion Aung San Suu Kyi's party won almost all
the seats it contested in Myanmar elections, becoming the main
opposition force in the national parliament, official results showed
The veteran dissident's National League for Democracy stormed to
victory in 43 of the 44 constituencies where it fielded candidates in
Sunday's polls, according to an election commission announcement on
The landslide win in the by-elections gave Suu Kyi her first-ever
seat in parliament, although it will not threaten the comfortable
majority of the military-backed Union Solidarity and Development Party
The Nobel laureate said in her victory speech on Monday that she
hoped the vote would mark a “new era” for the nation after decades of
repressive junta rule, but appealed for political unity and urged her
supporters not to gloat.
The NLD won 37 seats in the 440-seat lower house, along with four in
the upper house and two in the regional chambers, the results showed.
One quarter of the seats are reserved for unelected military officials.
The NLD lost one seat in eastern Shan state to the Shan Nationalities
Democratic Party, which has strong support among ethnic minorities.
The USDP took just one seat, in a constituency in northwest Sagaing
where the NLD candidate was disqualified from standing. Suu Kyi's
election to political office marks the latest sweeping change in the
country formerly known as Burma after decades of outright military rule
ended last year.
Myanmar's quasi-civilian government has surprised even its critics
over the past year with a string of reforms such as releasing hundreds
of political prisoners and welcoming the opposition back into mainstream
politics. President Thein Sein hailed the polls as a success.
“The election was held successfully,” the former general said in
brief remarks to reporters on the sidelines of a meeting with fellow
leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in Phnom Penh.
Observers say the regime needs Suu Kyi in parliament to bolster the
legitimacy of its political system and spur an easing of Western