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Suu Kyi's party wins historic majority in Myanmar polls

Published Nov. 14, 2015

YANGON, Myanmar — On the fifth anniversary of her release from house arrest, election results Friday showed that Aung San Suu Kyi's opposition party had won enough seats in Parliament to allow it to form Myanmar's first truly civilian government in more than half a century.

While complete results from Sunday's vote still must be tallied, the state election commission announced that Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy party had won 37 additional seats — pushing it over the threshold of 329 seats needed for a majority in the two-house Parliament.

The party with a combined parliamentary majority is able to select the next president, who can then name a Cabinet and form a new government. The 329 figure represents a majority in the 664-member Parliament because voting was not held in seven constituencies due to unrest in the Southeast Asian country.

The ruling military-backed Union Solidarity and Development Party had won just 40 seats as of Friday.

The transfer of power should take place after the new Parliament meets early next year and votes on a new president, along with two vice presidents.

The NLD will face a variety of challenges.

But the victory is a sweet second chance for the party, which also won a landslide victory in the first election it contested, in 1990, only to see the results annulled by the military, and many of its leading members harassed and jailed.

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