Aung San Suu Kyi predicts majority for her party

Nay Pyi Taw: Nobel Peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi has said her party will secure enough votes in Myanmar’s historic national elections to take control of parliament from the country’s military-backed rulers.

Only a fraction of the results have been announced in Myanmar’s parliamentary elections in a quarter-century, but Suu Kyi told the BBC on Tuesday that her National League for Democracy (NLD) is on a winning track.

“The results have been coming in steadily, and we probably will get between around 75 percent in the union legislature,” she said, referring to the national parliament.

“The times have changed, the people have changed,” she added.

Jubilant crowds have been gathering in the streets outside the NLD headquarters since voting took place on Sunday.

According to the latest announcements from the election commission on Tuesday, the NLD has won 78 of 88 seats declared so far in the lower house of parliament.

Hundreds more results, including many from remote areas with poor infrastructure, need to be determined before the final results are out, CNN said in a report.

The ruling Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) of President Thein Sein has won only five of the seats declared so far and has conceded defeat, according to election officials.

The landmark election is seen as a test of the powerful Myanmar military’s willingness to let the country continue along a path toward full democracy, after decades of military-dominated rule.

Thein Sein has promised that the outcome of Sunday’s vote will be respected, but the system is already configured strongly in favour of the military, which gets to appoint a quarter of all lawmakers in the two houses of parliament. This means the NLD would need to win more than two-thirds of the remaining seats in each house to secure majorities.

The public is electing 168 of the 224 representatives in the upper house of the national parliament, with the remaining quarter of seats reserved for lawmakers appointed by the military.

In the lower house, 325 of the 440 seats are to be secured, 110 are reserved for military appointees, while voting has reportedly been cancelled for the remaining five electable lower house seats over security concerns.

About 30 million people were eligible to vote in Sunday’s election in Myanmar. Turnout was estimated at about 80 percent.