Yangon, Myanmar (BBN)-Myanmar’s ruling party says it has lost the general election, with reports indicating a wide margin of victory to Aung San Suu Kyi’s opposition National League for Democracy (NLD).
Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) leader Htay Oo said the government would accept the result of the country’s first free national election in 25 years, reports the ABC News.
“We lost,” Htay Oo, a close ally of president Thein Sein said.
“We have to find out the reason why we lost.”
The vote count is still under way and no results have been officially announced by the election commission.
“However, we do accept the results without any reservations. We still don’t know the final results for sure,” Oo said.
Oo said he was surprised by the scale of his defeat in his own parliamentary constituency in Hinthada, in the delta region, considered the heartland of the USDP’s rural support base.
“I wasn’t expecting it because we were able to do a lot for the people in this region.” he said.
“Anyway, it’s the decision of the people.”
NLD party spokesman Win Htein said his party had won more than 80 per cent of the votes counted so far in the densely populated central regions.
Outside the central area, the NLD had so far won more than 65 per cent of votes cast in the states of Mon and Kayin, he said.
Results from the five other states were not yet known, he added.
The central area is made up of seven administrative divisions.
The NLD needs 67 per cent of available parliamentary seats to enjoy a majority.
That would be enough to overwhelm the USDP, whose military allies are gifted 25 per cent of seats under the constitution.
Earlier, Suu Kyi addressed her supporters at NLD party headquarters after the vote closed and called for dignity and restraint.
“The loser has to accept the result bravely, with pride and the true winner should be humble,” she said.
She said it was too early then to say whether her party had secured the landslide victory it expected.
Election authorities were expected to hold a press conference at 4:00pm local time (8:30 AEST) that could see some partial results announced.
Whatever the result, Myanmar is heading into a period of uncertainty over how Suu Kyi and other ascendant parties might negotiate sharing power with the still-dominant military.
Even if she gets the majority she needs, Ms Suu Kyi is barred from taking the presidency herself under the constitution written by the junta to preserve its power.
Suu Kyi has said she would be the power behind the new president regardless of a constitution she has derided as “very silly”.
The military will, however, retain significant power. It is guaranteed key ministerial positions.
The constitution gives it the right to take over the government under certain circumstances, and it also has a grip on the economy through holding companies.