2 Apr 2012

Suu Kyi says election result victory for people

9:40 pm on 2 April 2012

Myanmar's opposition has claimed an historic victory for pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi in her first bid for a seat in parliament.

Ms Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy party says she won a landslide victory in her seat of Kawhmu, which was one 45 seats that held by-elections.

The results have not been officially verified, but the opposition leader looks to have won her seat with more than 80% of the vote, the ABC reports.

Ms Suu Kyi was greeted by an enormous group of journalists and supporters when she arrived at her party's headquarters in Rangoon.

She told the crowd she was gratified by the support the party received in the by-elections on Sunday, but the wins were not as important as the public interest in politics the process has created.

"This is not so much our triumph as a triumph for people who have decided that they must be involved in the political process in this country," she said. "It will be the beginning of a new era."

If confirmed, Ms Suu Kyi's win would mark a dramatic reversal in the political fortunes of the veteran activist, who was locked up by the former junta for most of the past 22 years.

Many of her National League of Democracy colleagues also look set to take seats in Myanmar's lower house.

The party's own numbers indicate that it has won 43 of the 44 seats contested, with counting still under way in one constituency.

But the level of popular support will be noted by all - including the government - which will face the NLD in a general election in 2015 if democratic reforms continue.

Meanwhile, a complaint has been made to the electoral commission about ballot paper irregularities and voting rule confusion during the vote.

The ABC says many people have complained that their names were not on the voting roll.

However, international observers say the process has appeared generally well run.