» News » Suu Kyi's party wins historic Myanmar polls

Suu Kyi's party wins historic Myanmar polls

November 13, 2015 12:27 IST
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Aung San Suu Kyi has won Myanmar’s landmark election and claimed a staggering majority in parliament, ending half a century of dominance by the military and providing the symbol of a decades-old democracy movement with a mandate to rule.

Myanmar's National League for Democracy party leader Aung San Suu Kyi talks to supporters after general elections in Yangon. Photograph: Jorge Silva/Reuters

Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy party sailed through the two-thirds majority it needs to rule, claiming 348 parliamentary seats with a number of results yet to be declared.

Asked why so many people voted for her party, the Nobel laureate earlier told Radio Free Asia: “Our hearts beat in the same note. We struggled together, and we had hopes together. “We dreamed together for nearly 30 years. The NLD and the people are comrades-in-arms. I think that is the reason they supported us.”

Ecstatic street celebrations had begun within hours of polls closing on Sunday as it became clear that the NLD led by Suu Kyi was heading for a landslide triumph.

Supporters of Myanmar's pro-democracy figurehead Aung San Suu Kyi gather outside National League for Democracy headquarters in Yangon, Myanmar. Photograph: Jorge Silva/Reuters

Suu Kyi has received telephone calls of congratulations from David Cameron, Barack Obama and Francois Hollande, the French president, the NLD said.

It is 55 years since Burma’s last democratically elected leader, the revered prime minister U Nu, won power at the ballot box. Just two years later, his army commander Ne Win overthrew him in a coup.

More than half a century later, the dominant military and its political proxies have admitted defeat, issuing strikingly magnanimous congratulations to the NLD for its election performance.

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