YANGON, Nov 9 : Aung San Suu Kyi has congratulated the people of Myanmar for their "political awakening", hinting at the victory the National League for Democracy expects as the country awaits official confirmation of the results from yesterday's parliamentary elections.
In her first speech since the vote, the NLD leader spoke outside party headquarters in Yangon this morning, saying the losers should accept defeat with courage and a smile.
"Until now the election results have not been announced officially. But we think that the people will have a good picture in their mind of what the situation could be," she said.
Despite her clear message that her supporters should stay patient, there was anxiety within her party and among international observers over the timing of the results.
The Union Election Commission had said yesterday that first incomplete results would be released at 9am today. That was put back until 3pm and then to 6pm, with a press conference scheduled at 4pm by UEC chair U Tin Aye in the capital Nay Pyi Taw.
Meanwhile the NLD has issued a formal complaint to the UEC over what it said was a decision last night to instruct townships to communicate their results directly to the UEC in Nay Pyi Taw rather than up the chain of authority to the district and then the state/region level.
In theory this move could speed up the release of results, but it also gives the UEC more control over the flow of information. Some townships however were continuing this morning to release their results and some said they had not heard of the new procedure.
Aung San Suu Kyi said it was not yet the right time to congratulate the successful NLD candidates, saying she first congratulated the people "for their political awakening, encouragement and discipline" but also those candidates who lost.
Among the many senior casualties in the ruling Union Solidarity and Development Party was U Shwe Mann, the Speaker of parliament who conceded defeat in Pyu, Bago Region, to his NLD opponent this morning via Facebook.
Parliament does not form a government but it will elect the next president in February 2016.
?THE MYANMAR TIMES