Aung San Suu Kyi says Myanmar general election was 'not free but fair'

Ms Aung San Suu Kyi (centre), chairman of the National League for Democracy (NLD) party, leaving the NLD headquarters.
Ms Aung San Suu Kyi (centre), chairman of the National League for Democracy (NLD) party, leaving the NLD headquarters.PHOTO: EPA

YANGON (REUTERS)- Myanmar democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi has told the BBC that the landmark general election in the country on Sunday (Nov 9) was "not free but fair", despite "areas of intimidation".

The leader of the National League of Democracy (NLD), which by most indications has snagged a sweeping victory in the polls, cannot be president due to a clause in the Constitution.

But she told the BBC that as party leader, she would "find one" president. She was speaking in her first interview since the election started.

She also congratulated the people of Myanmar, and said that if the election results were sabotaged, the will of the people would be sabtaged.

She believed her party had won a parliamentary majority, the BBC reported. "We probably will get between, around 75 per cent in the union legislature," she added.

The 70-year-old also told the BBC that she believed "the communications revolution" would help fairness prevail. "It's much more difficult for those who wish to engage in irregularities to get away with it," she said.

The party needs to win 67 per cent of contested seats across both houses of Parliament for a majority victory. It could take days for the full results to be officially announced.

The Nobel Laureate's party contested its first general election in a quarter of a century on Sunday.

It won a 1990 poll by a landslide but the results were ignored by the then ruling military which plunged the country back into years of isolation.

Two days before Sunday's election, President Thein Sein reassured voters in a televised statement that his ruling Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP), as well as the country's all-powerful army, would respect the result.

When asked if she believed the results would be accepted, Suu Kyi said "people are far more politicised now" than both in a 1990 general election as well as 2012 by-elections.

The latter swept her and a few dozen NLD members into Parliament two years after she was released from house arrest - Ms Suu Kyi spent a total of 15 years detained in her Yangon home by the military.