Myanmar Voter Turnout 77%: State Media

8 Dec

YANGON : Turnout in Myanmar's first election in 20 years was about 77 percent, state media in the military-ruled country reported on Wednesday, despite muted activity seen at polling stations.

More than 22 million of Myanmar's roughly 29 million eligible voters cast ballots for national candidates in the November 7 poll, according to the New Light of Myanmar, a mouthpiece for the ruling military.

The authorities have not yet announced a final overall tally of the results, but the main army-backed party has claimed an overwhelming victory with about 80 percent of available seats.

One quarter of the places in parliament were already reserved for the military, which together with its political proxy looks set to have a comfortable majority for passing laws and electing the president.

The poll was widely criticised by democracy activists and Western governments owing to allegations of fraud and intimidation as well as the exclusion of opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy (NLD) party was disbanded for boycotting the November 7 vote in response to rules that seemed designed to bar the Nobel Peace Prize winner from taking part.

The democracy icon has spent most of the past 20 years locked up but was freed from her latest seven-year stretch of confinement just days after the election.

– AFP /ls

Channel News Asia

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