Aung San Suu Kyi retains her rural constituency seat in Myanmar election

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi retained her rural constituency seat of Kawhmu, election officials announced on Wednesday, Nov 11, 2015.
Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi retained her rural constituency seat of Kawhmu, election officials announced on Wednesday, Nov 11, 2015.ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG

YANGON (AFP) - Myanmar's Ms Aung San Suu Kyi held her rural constituency seat, the election commission announced on Wednesday (Nov 11), as top ruling party figures fell by the wayside with her pro-democracy opposition appearing on the cusp of a historic election victory.

Myanmar's Union Election Commission said that Ms Suu Kyi had won her rural constituency seat of Kawhmu with 54,676 votes, as election results trickle in from across the country. It was not immediately clear what margin she had won by.

Ms Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy (NLD) looks set for a landslide win after Sunday's nationwide polls, winning nearly 90 per cent of the seats declared so far in the upper and lower houses of Parliament.

Leading members of the ruling, army-backed Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) have failed at the ballot box, with influential parliamentary speaker Shwe Mann and party chairman Htay Oo among party heavyweights who have lost their seats.

Ms Suu Kyi, who spent a total of 15 years under house arrest in Yangon under military rule, entered Parliament through a 2012 by-election in Kawhmu, a rural hamlet near Yangon, two years after her release.

It was a frequent spot on her countrywide campaign trail in recent weeks and she received a rapturous welcome on returning to the constituency after casting her ballot in central Yangon on Sunday.

The Nobel Laureate's supporters credit her with bringing new concrete roads, schools and clinics to the rural area where most people eke out a living from farming.

Ms Suu Kyi has showered Kawhmu with over US$4 million (S$5.7 million) in development aid from donors, disbursed by the Daw Khin Kyi Foundation - a charity set up in honour of her mother.

Later on Wednesday the opposition leader called for "national reconciliation" talks with Myanmar's president and the nation's powerful army chief, saying citizens had "expressed their will in the election".