Yangon, Myanmar (BBN)-In her first interview since historic elections, Myanmar’s opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi has told the BBC her party has won a parliamentary majority.
Early results point to a sweeping victory for her National League for Democracy (NLD), but final official results will not be known for days.
In an exclusive interview with the BBC’s Fergal Keane, Suu Kyi congratulated the people of Myanmar.
The election was the most democratic in Myanmar for 25 years.
Suu Kyi said the polls were not fair but had been “largely free” though there were “areas of intimidation”.
NLD spokesman Win Htein has accused the election commission of “delaying intentionally” the release of results, saying “they are trying to be crooked”.
The military-backed Union Solidarity Development Party (USDP) has been in power in Myanmar since 2011 when the country began its transition from decades of military rule to a civilian government.
The selection of the president is not expected to take place until at least February.
Suu Kyi cannot be chosen because the constitution blocks people with foreign offspring from holding the post, but has always said she would still lead the country if her party won.
Aung San Suu Kyi was brimming with confidence. This was a leader who strongly sensed her hour had come.
“The times have changed, the people have changed,” she said.
On the vexing question of the presidency from which she is constitutionally barred, she repeated she would make the big decisions while a colleague holds the post, joking: “A rose by another name.”
We met in the garden of the house where she had spent so many years under house arrest and where I first interviewed her 20 years ago.
From the symbol of an embattled and then fragile democracy movement she has become the steely leader of a government in waiting.
On picking a president, she said: “We’ll find one. But that won’t stop me from making all the decisions as the leader of the winning party.”
When asked if this was fair, she said: “I believe in transparency and accountability… it works much better if I’m open about it if I tell the people.”
Clause 58 of the country’s constitution states that the president “takes precedence over all other persons” in Myanmar, also known as Burma.
Poll officials display two ballots marked for the candidate of army-backed ruling Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) during poll tabulation in Yangon on 8 November 2015.
Officials have been counting millions of votes
About 30 million people were eligible to vote in Sunday’s election in Myanmar. Turnout was estimated at about 80%.
A quarter of the 664 parliamentary seats are set aside for the army, and for the NLD to have the winning majority it will need at least two-thirds of the contested seats.
But Suu Kyi told the BBC that her party has surpassed that, and has won around 75% of contested seats.
The official result will not be known for days as election officials and volunteers continue to tally the millions of votes cast.