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Myanmar President Thein Sein and the country’s powerful army chief have congratulated opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi as her party continued to steam towards victory in the country’s historic elections.
Thein Sein said that the government would accept the results of the polls and promised “a peaceful transfer of power” in line with the voting outcome.
“Congratulations … to the chairperson Aung San Suu Kyi and her party for gathering the support of the people,” read a statement posted on the Facebook page of the presidential spokesperson on Wednesday.
“The government will respect and follow the people’s choice and decision, and work on transferring power peacefully according to the timetable,” said the statement, adding that the president would work with “all other people” to ensure stability in the post-election period.
In a statement also posted on Facebook late on Wednesday, General Min Aung Hlaing, the head of a military that ruled the country for half a century, congratulated Suu Kyi’s opposition National League for Democracy (NLD) for winning a “majority of seats”.
Earlier on Wednesday, Suu Kyi had called on the two leaders, as well as Shwe Mann, the speaker of the lower house of parliament, to meet with her to discuss the outcome of the elections.
“It is important to implement the people’s will in a peaceful manner for the sake of the country,” she wrote in letters addressed to the three men.
In response, Thein Sein said he has agreed to Suu Kyi’s request to hold reconciliation talks soon, although the two sides are still to agree on the time and location of the negotiations.
The army chief also said he will meet Suu Kyi after the official results are declared by election authorities – the final results will be announced on November 22.
Shwe Mann has already agreed to a meeting with Suu Kyi next week but no further details have been announced.
According to the latest results, Suu Kyi’s NLD has won 179 seats in the lower house of the national parliament – out of the 216 lower house seats announced so far. NLD has also won 77 out of the 83 upper house seats announced so far.
Earlier on Wednesday, the Union Election Commission said that Suu Kyi, a Nobel peace laureate, had won her seat.
Even with a win for her party, Suu Kyi cannot become president under the country’s constitution as she is married to a British citizen and her children have UK passports.
Suu Kyi has said that may change.