Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy poised to grab majority

NLD leader Aung San Suu Kyi arriving at the headquarters to deliver a speech on Nov 9, 2015.
NLD leader Aung San Suu Kyi arriving at the headquarters to deliver a speech on Nov 9, 2015. PHOTO: EPA

Myanmar's opposition National League for Democracy (NLD) is edging towards an official majority on its own, in the country's next parliament.

But Myanmar's Union Election Commission on Friday morning kept the country waiting, with the NLD overnight just two seats short of the 329 needed for a clear majority for the party that spent decades in the wilderness under army rule. Results of a little over 82 per cent of parliamentary seats have been released so far.

The party needs the 329 seats across the two chambers, to be able to form a government on its own and also be in a position to nominate two out of three candidates for the Presidency - one from both houses of parliament. The military bloc will nominate a third - but with a majority the NLD is bound to determine the result of the parliamentary vote.

Sometime in March newly elected sitting MPs will vote for the President from among the candidates. The two losing candidates will be vice presidents.

The President will then nominate Cabinet ministers. Those sitting MPs who are nominated, step down from their parliament seats and then by elections are held for those seats.

The military which under the constitution still controls three key ministries - Home affairs, Defence and Border affairs - has pledged its cooperation in the transition.

In statements on Thursday posted on Facebook, sitting President Thein Sein and armed forces chief Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, congratulated NLD leader Ms Aung San Suu Kyi.

General Min Aung Hlaing vowed "co-operation with the new government during the post-election period".

Talks are expected in days, between President Thein Sein, Ms Suu Kyi, and possibly General Min Aung Haing, as well as current Speaker of parliament Mr Shwe Mann.

The talks will be closely watched for indications of the nature of the transition. The constitution bars anyone with foreign family connections from assuming the presidency; this means Ms Suu Kyi herself cannot be President because she was married to a foreigner and her two sons are UK citizens.

While under Myanmar's system Ms Suu Kyi can nominate someone from outside the party for the Presidency, thus far she has said she will nominate a figure from the NLD, but she as party leader will be the real power behind the scenes.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon in a statement emailed this morning, acknowledged the ''significant achievement in Myanmar's democratic transition'' and congratulated the NLD - as well as the USDP for its ''dignified acceptance of the verdict of the people.''

''The Army's support to the conduct of credible and transparent elections as well as its acceptance of the results, have also been uniquely important'' the statement said.

But it also added that ''There is much hard work that remains ahead on Myanmar's democratic journey and towards making future elections truly inclusive.''