Aung San Suu Kyi’s party secures enough seats to form next government

Myanmar’s National League for Democracy (NLD) party led by Aung San Suu Kyi has secured enough seats in parliament to form the next government, according to the latest election results.

The NLD has so far won 346 seats, more than the 322 seats needed to form the next government.

NLD spokesperson Monywa Aung Shin said its “landslide” victory showed the people’s support for the party, but added that it would have to “work on forming a national unity government”, reported news agency Reuters.

The party has announced that it would be inviting ethnic minority parties to work with it, an offer it did not make when it won the last election in 2015.

India, Japan and Singapore had earlier congratulated the NLD on their win.

This year’s election has been seen as a gauge of support for the NLD and Ms Suu Kyi following the Rohingya crisis.

The NLD remains popular at home but has been heavily criticised worldwide after Ms Suu Kyi’s response to the crisis.

However the opposition, backed by Myanmar’s powerful army, accused the government of irregularities, though it offered little evidence.

In a press conference on Wednesday, the Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) said it did not recognise the results of the election and called on authorities to have an “election that is free, fair, unbiased and free from unfair campaigning”.

In the run up to the elections, the army had also said early voting showed “errors of neglect” in voter lists and a “widespread violation of laws and procedures”.

The army has so far not offered any evidence and both international and local observers have said the election went smoothly.

Rohingyas Sidelined:

Observers had questioned the credibility of the election because of the disenfranchisement of virtually all the Rohingya.

Earlier this year, six of at least a dozen Rohingya who applied to run as candidates in the election were also barred from standing.

Other ethnic groups have also been affected.

In October, Myanmar’s electoral commission cancelled voting in large parts of Rakhine state – where fighting between the military and the Arakan Army, comprised mainly of the Buddhist Rakhine ethnic group, has killed dozens and displaced tens of thousands.

It also cancelled the election in parts of other conflict-hit states, including Shan and Kachin, saying that some areas were “not in a position to hold a free and fair election”.

The mass cancellations have outraged ethnic minority parties and mean nearly two million people have been disenfranchised in a nation with some 37 million registered voters.