(From Reuters)

Aung San Suu Kyi’s opposition has won an absolute majority to govern after weekend polls that herald a historic shift in power in Myanmar.

Aung San Suu Kyi

The election, the first Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy party has contested since 1990, saw a huge turnout that yielded more than 80 per cent of seats to the NLD.

Today the party was awarded 21 further lower house seats by the Union Election Commission, taking its overall parliamentary tally to 348, 19 more than the 329 needed for an absolute majority.

It is five years to the day since Suu Kyi was released from house arrest.

The international community has welcomed the election, with US president Barack Obama calling both Ms Suu Kyi and the president Thein Sein to offer his congratulations.

Ahead of the election the US hinted it could rollback more sanctions in reward for a successful and peaceful election.

Obama has staked immense political capital in Myanmar’s transition from authoritarian rule to an emergent democracy, and visiting the country twice in the last four years.

Call for ‘reconciliation talks’

Suu Kyi has already publicly called for “national reconciliation talks” with president Thein Sein and army chief Min Aung Hlaing.

Both men have congratulated the NLD on its election performance and have vowed to abide by the result as well as help a peaceful transition of power.

Sein’s ruling Union Solidarity and Development Party, which is made up of former military cadres, has been mauled at the election.

Yet the president, a former general who swapped his uniform for civilian clothes to lead the government in 2011, has won praise for steering the reforms that culminated in Sunday’s peaceful poll.

UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon congratulated Suu Kyi for her election win, but also hailed the “courage and vision” of Sein for “leadership in the reform process”.

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