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Suu Kyi party says on track to win 70% Myanmar seats

YANGON: Aung San Suu Kyi’s party said Monday it was set to claim over 70 percent of seats following Myanmar’s election, a tally that could sweep it to power after decades of military dominance.

Rapturous party supporters danced into the night after the polls closed, optimistic of victory from the first election the National League for Democracy has contested in 25 years.

Early counting appears to have swung in the NLD’s favour, said party spokesman Win Htein, predicting of a majority — although he said the party would wait for official results.

“We are on track to win more than 70 percent of seats around the country, but the election commission has not officially confirmed yet,” he told AFP.

He did not specify how the calculation was made and if he thought that percentage would translate into power.

The NLD needs 67 percent of available parliamentary seats to enjoy a majority.

That would be enough to overwhelm the ruling Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP), whose military allies are gifted 25 percent of seats under the constitution.

But seats are also up for grabs in regional legislatures.

Suu Kyi herself was slightly more circumspect, but hinted at victory.

“It is not the time to congratulate our candidates who we think have won the election,” she told supporters and journalists from the balcony of her party’s Yangon headquarters.

But “people have an idea of the result even if I don’t say it,” she added.

Election authorities were expected to hold a press conference at 4:00 pm (0930 GMT) that could see some partial results announced.

They have said that preliminary figures would be released within 48 hours of Sunday’s vote, and a full nationwide count in 10 days or so.

President Thein Sein and the still-powerful army chief have both vowed to respect the outcome of the election — even if the army-backed Union Solidarity and Development Party loses its choke-hold on power.

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