Myanmar’s ruling party has conceded defeat in the general elections, the party’s acting chairman says, 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.
“We lost,” Mr 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,” Mr Oo said.
Mr 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.”
Suu Kyi’s opposition has commanding lead: spokesman
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, Ms 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.
– ABC, with agencies