YANGON: Myanmar's opposition claimed a historic victory Sunday for pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi in her bid for a seat in parliament, sparking scenes of jubilation among crowds of supporters.
Hundreds of people cheered as a giant screen outside National League for Democracy (NLD) party headquarters in Yangon announced a big by-election win for Suu Kyi, who was locked up by the junta for most of the past 22 years.
The Nobel peace laureate took an estimated 82 percent of the vote in Kawhmu constituency, said NLD senior member Tin Oo, based on the party's own unofficial tally. Official results were expected within a week.
The party also claimed it had won at least 10 of the other 45 seats at stake in the vote, which cannot threaten the army-backed ruling party's majority.
"We are so happy and waiting for the other results," said NLD senior member Mwint Mwint Win.
Observers believe Myanmar's new quasi-civilian government wants Suu Kyi to win a place in parliament to burnish its reform credentials and smooth the way for an easing of Western sanctions.
Many of her supporters had earlier waited for hours in searing heat to catch a glimpse of the 66-year-old, who was running for political office for the first time. AGENCIES