Myanmar Opposition Claims Big Gains In Election

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Opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi’s party is claiming gains in Myanmar’s parliamentary election, with supporters already celebrating an anticipated landslide victory. At least 2,000 people braved the afternoon downpour on Monday in the commercial capital, Yangon, as they awaited the announcement of the results and a possible speech by the democracy icon.

Supporters waved the red flag of the Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) party while singing along the campaign theme song, shouting “NLD, we will win.” They also cheered when the election commission announced wins for NLD candidates in a news conference which played live on a widescreen TV. “I’m very excited. NLD won in my township of Kyi Myin Dine,” said Daw Khin Myo Sett, 39, who voted for the first time.

“I hope that they will improve education as well as healthcare and give my children a better life.”  The country’s first openly contested election in decades saw an estimated 80 percent voter turnout. The NLD had won about 70 percent of the votes counted by midday Monday, party spokesman Win Htein said.  The nation breathed a collective sigh of relief as polling closed on Sunday, with no major incidents of violence or voter irregularity reported.

The opposition NLD party, however, filed an official complaint before the election commission about violations of voting regulations.


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