The party of Burma’s opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi on Tuesday accused the government’s election commission of intentionally delaying the results of what appeared to be its landslide victory in national elections.
The accusation by the National League for Democracy (NLD) came as Suu Kyi told the BBC that she believes her party has won the parliamentary majority needed to form a government. The official results of Sunday’s vote have not yet been declared. Partial results have been released.
The Carter Center, a team of election observers led by former U.S. president Jimmy Carter’s grandson, said Tuesday that it found the voting and counting process to be generally well-conducted but noted problems, including banning members of Burma’s Rohingya Muslim minority from voting and inconsistencies in making preliminary results available at the constituency level.
Suu Kyi said the elections were not fair but “largely free” and that there had been “areas of intimidation.” She said her party won about 75% of the contested seats, more than the two-thirds needed for a majority. The nation’s military government reserved 25% of the parliamentary seats.
Speaking to reporters outside Suu Kyi’s house on Tuesday, NLD spokesman Win Htien said: “The Union Election Commission has been delaying intentionally because maybe they want to play a trick or something.”
“It doesn’t make sense that they are releasing the results piece by piece. It shouldn’t be like that,” he said. “They are trying to be crooked.”
Election commission official Nay Pyi Taw denied that it had instructed some areas not to release official results and told reporters that the results will come “as soon as possible,” the Myanmar Times reported. “It mainly depends on … how fast they can count,” he added. “We will announce in a timely manner as their counting finishes.”
The accusation raises concerns about the intentions of the ruling Union Solidarity Development Party (USDP), which is backed by the military. However, the party’s leader, Htay Oo, acknowledged on Monday defeat in the nation’s first contested national elections in 25 years.
The USDP came into power in the 2010 elections, marking the end of a half-century of control by a military junta and the installation of a quasi-civilian government.
Suu Kyi, 70, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991, spent decades trying to bring democracy to Burma, also known as Myanmar, including 15 years under house arrest for defying the nation’s military rulers. She was released in 2010.
Suu Kyi, who could be named speaker of the lower house of parliament, is barred from becoming president because of a clause added to the constitution that excludes anyone with close foreign relatives from holding the high office. Her late husband was a British national, and she has two British sons.
Suu Kyi said her party has a candidate for president, but the person’s identity has not been revealed.
Source USA Today