Jubilation as results nod to Suu Kyi win

2015-11-09 18:30
Supporters of Myanmar's NLD celebrate in Yangon. (Amanda Mustard, AP)

Supporters of Myanmar's NLD celebrate in Yangon. (Amanda Mustard, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Yangon - Decked out in the trademark red of Myanmar's opposition, hundreds gathered at its Yangon headquarters on Monday as anticipation of victory for Aung San Suu Kyi's party soared with poll results hinting at the once unthinkable - a government they elected.

"We're tired of the military, mother Suu will bring change... It starts tonight," said Tin Htun Aung, 30, a National League for Democracy sticker dotted on each cheek and waving a large red flag with the party's fighting peacock emblem.

Packed tight in a Yangon road outside the NLD's base, party faithful cheered as results from the city were announced live on a big screen.

Suu Kyi's party claimed almost all of the first and second batches of seats announced on Monday night, although these represent just a tiny fraction of results as election authorities are expected to take days to reveal a final count.

Like many among the mainly young supporters braving the sardine-tight crowd and humidity, Tin Htung Aung hoped on Monday night would shape the future.

"My daughter is nine, I want my country to be better when she is older... we are a very poor country... Sui Kyi can fix that," he told AFP.

The jubilant scenes were flashed on state television in news programmes on Monday night, a rare glimpse of the opposition in government-dominated broadcasts, which later went back to more familiar territory airing montages of President Thein Sein.

'This is their moment' 

A free and prosperous future was a common refrain on the streets of Yangon, Myanmar's teeming commercial hub that bore witness to several of the nation's most notorious crackdowns under the harsh years of junta rule.

The long-isolated country has already changed immensely in a blooming of openness in recent years spurred by reforms from a quasi-civilian regime that replaced outright military rule.

The effects can be read on Yangon's fast-growing skyline and its increasingly traffic-clogged streets, where smartphones and glossy billboards - once rarities - are now commonplace.

But many yearn for deeper improvements in basic services, left neglected during years under the military.

"Our education system is poor, we cannot compete with other countries," said 18-year-old economics student Kaung Htet Thaw, shouting above the NLD party songs blaring from massive speakers.

"If the NLD win, they will help us rise up."

The promise of change, pegged to the towering presence of Myanmar's political titan Suu Kyi, drew some in the crowd from overseas.

Wearing head-to-toe in the party red, computer programmer Phyo Sin Hyaw said she had returned to vote on Sunday from Singapore.

The 33-year-old, an NLD bandana wrapped tight around her forehead, said the expectation of victory was tempered by fears of dirty tricks by the hated old guard - especially if the NLD sweeps the board.

"The crowd is young... They need change, they want development and jobs. This is their moment," she said.

Read more on:    aung san suu kyi  |  myanmar  |  myanmar 2015 elections

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.