16 Nov 2015

Myanmar president claims election credit

3:42 pm on 16 November 2015

Aung San Suu Kyi's party's landslide win in Myanmar's historic election is the result of the government's reforms, president Thein Sein says.

Myanmar's president, Thein Sein.

Myanmar's president Thein Sein: "The election is the result of our reform process." Photo: AFP

The former junta general, who shed his uniform to lead the country's quasi-civilian regime five years ago, said the 8 November polls were testament to the political and economic changes that have swept the former pariah state since the end of junta rule.

"The election is the result of our reform process and, as we promised, we were able to hold it very successfully," he told a meeting of political parties in Yangon in his first public appearance since the polls.

"We will hand this process (of reform) on to a new government," he said, adding "don't worry about the transition" in comments aimed at calming nerves in the country's first attempt at a democratic-style transition for decades.

Aung San Suu Kyi, at NLD headquarters in Yangon, urged followers to be patient.

NLD leader Aung San Suu Kyi - pictured at the party's headquarters in Yangon. Photo: AFP

Addressing representatives of nearly 90 political parties, many of which were trounced by Ms Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy (NLD), the Myanmar leader said elections were the "duty" of a democratic nation.

He appeared sanguine about the resounding defeat of his army-backed Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP), which will slip into opposition in the next parliament - due to sit from February.

"The winning party is responsible for carrying out its duty and other opposition parties should provide checks and balances. That is called democracy," he said.

Myanmar electoral commission head Tin Ay said parliament would be convened in 90 days and called on all parties to work together.

"I think the transition period will be easy and will go peacefully because our people can consider the right way to avoid conflict," he said.

"I really hope so it's like clapping you must use both hands, if not there is no sound."

Myanmar's head of the electoral commission, Tin Ay.

Myanmar's electoral commission head Tin Ay said parliament would be convened in 90 days. Photo: AFP


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