Myanmar’s ruling party claimed a resounding victory on Monday in the country’s second parliamentary election since the end of strict military rule, based on its own unofficial tally of votes.
Sunday’s election was viewed as a referendum on the fledgling democratic government led by Aung San Suu Kyi and her ruling National League for Democracy (NLD), which remains very popular at home but has seen its overseas reputation battered by accusations of genocide against the Rohingya Muslim minority.
NLD spokesman Myo Nyunt told us it had won many more than the 322 seats in parliament needed to form a government, based on data compiled from reports by party agents at polling stations nationwide, though he gave no specific estimate.
“For the people, for the party, this is such an encouraging election result,” he said, adding that the NLD expected to exceed the total of 390 seats it won in its 2015 landslide win.
The Election Commission had been expected to release results on Monday but had only published a handful by the evening, as candidates and parties posted their own data online.
Up for grabs were 315 seats in the 425-member lower house and 161 seats in the 217-seat upper house of parliament.
A spokesman for the second biggest party, the military-backed Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP), could not immediately be reached for comment.
In separate statements, the European Union and Britain commended Myanmar on the polls but criticised the disenfranchisement of more than a million voters, including hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine state.