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Dhaka Tribune

Myanmar president congratulates Suu Kyi

Update : 11 Nov 2015, 10:25 AM

Myanmar President Thein Sein has congratulated Aung San Suu Kyi's opposition party on its success in polls, a spokesman told the BBC.

With about 40% of seats declared, the National League for Democracy (NLD) has taken nearly 90% of the vote.

Ms Suu Kyi has written to the leadership requesting talks on national reconciliation.

But spokesman U Ye Htut said such a meeting could only take place after the final results were announced.

He insisted there was no attempt to delay the declaration of results from Sunday's election.

Correspondents say Ms Suu Kyi is treading carefully despite her apparent landslide victory. The NLD won elections decisively in 1990 - only for the result to be nullified and Ms Suu Kyi placed under long-term house arrest.

The ruling military-backed Union Solidarity Development Party (USDP) - which won the last, widely criticised election five years ago - has won only about 5% of the seats being contested.

A quarter of seats are reserved for the military.

The result so far is a humiliation for the governing party, says the BBC's Jonathan Head in Yangon, also known as Rangoon.

It is likely to leave the NLD in a commanding position in the next parliament, opposed only by the military faction, he says.

Ms Suu Kyi earlier retained her own seat and will return as MP for her Kawhmu constituency in Rangoon - though she leads the NLD she is barred by the constitution from being president.

But she has said "that won't stop me from making all the decisions".

In her letters sent Tuesday to President Thein Sein, the commander of the armed forces and the parliamentary speaker she requested a meeting next week.

"A peaceful implementation of the people's desire, which they expressed via the 8 November election, is very important for the country's dignity and people's peace of mind," she wrote in letters made public by the NLD, according to the Irrawaddy news website.

The ruling party has now indicated that it will not attend any meeting until after the final tally of election results is announced. There is no official prediction of when that might be.

The USDP, which has been in power in Myanmar since 2011, has so far taken 10 of the 491 seats being contested in both houses of parliament, compared to 163 by the NLD.

A quarter of the 664 parliamentary seats are set aside for the army. For the NLD to have the winning majority and be able to select the president, it will need at least two-thirds of the remaining seats - or 329.

About 30 million people were eligible to vote in Sunday's election in Myanmar. Turnout was estimated at about 80%.

Hundreds of thousands of people - including the Muslim Rohingya minority, who are not recognised as citizens - were denied voting rights.

Nonetheless, Sunday's election was seen as the most democratic in Myanmar - also known as Burma - for 25 years.

In an interview with the BBC on Tuesday, her first since the vote, Ms Suu Kyi said the polls were "largely free" though not entirely fair, and that there had been some irregularities.

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