Suu Kyi camp claims near clean sweep
NLD officials call by-elections a victory for all the country's people
Aung San Suu Kyi mobbed by supporters after the elections
ucanews.com reporters, Mandalay and Kawhmu
April 2, 2012
National League for Democracy (NLD) officials are today claiming a possible clean sweep following yesterday’s by-elections. According to party spokesman Han Thar Myint, the NLD has won 43 out of 45 seats due to be contested in yesterday’s polls. One result in northern Shan State is too early to call, while a candidate in one other seat was not qualified to take part. “We are overjoyed the NLD has won most of the seats,” Han Thar Myint told ucanews.com today. Official results are expected later this week. Party leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who easily won her seat in Kawhmu constituency, today called the polls a victory for the people of Myanmar. “This is the people’s victory …. We won through a combination of people’s spirit and strength. From today onwards, we must not think about the win but instead we must start to work [towards reconciliation],” she said in a short speech outside the NLD Party headquarters in Yangon. In Mandalay, thousands of supporters gathered in front of the NLD’s office, waving party flags and hailing Suu Kyi. Others drover through the city’s streets until late at night honking horns in celebration. Rival candidates congratulated the unofficial winners and described the polls as being free and fair. U Than Tun, a candidate from the Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) who fought for the Maharaungmyae seat in Mandalay told ucanews.com today that he had no complaints about the results. “I would like to congratulate the NLD on its victory. It was a fair election and the competition was very tough,” he said, adding he hoped that the new MPs would enter parliament and all work to help develop the country and its people. The NLD had voiced concerns before the polls over voter list irregularities and intimidation of candidates. The polls are a key test of the country’s political reforms and could pave the way for the easing of Western sanctions. Yesterday U Ohn Kyaing, the chief party spokesperson and unofficial NLD winner in Maharaungmyae said that “some 1,000 people couldn’t cast their ballots as their IDs card numbers were wrong.” U Myo Chit, the chairman of the local Election Commission admitted to ucanews.com that some voters were unable to cast their ballots because of administrative errors. “It’s was great so many people wanted to vote. But I’m sorry that some couldn’t cast their ballots as there were some voter lists problems, which probably were a result from our mistakes,” he said.