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ELECTION 2015

Irrawaddy Liveblog: The Day After

The Irrawaddy keeps you up-to-date on all the latest as Burma wakes up to what state media has called a “new era” in national politics.


12:36am: A whole bunch of results released by the UEC at their 11pm presser: 26 at the Union level and 28 for divisional and state parliaments across a broader cross-section of the country than we’ve seen with earlier announcements. As before, the NLD are dominating. Let’s break it down.

At the Union level, the NLD have won 24 of 26 declared seats. The NLD candidates have officially won the Lower House seat of Mese in Karenni State, Launglon and Thayetchaung in Tenasserim, four seats in Magwe (Yenangyaung, Salin, Thayet and Mindon), five seats in Mandalay (Maha Aung Myay, Pyigyitagon, Tada-U, Kyaukpadaung and Wundwin), two more in Mon State (Thanbyuzayat and Mudon), six more in Rangoon (Htantabin, Bohtahtaung, Sanchaung, Bahan, Kungyangon and North Okkalapa), and four in the Irrawaddy Delta (Zalun, Lemyethna, Kyangin and Ingapu).

The election commission says USDP candidate Aye Maung has won in Bawlakhe, beating Thein Sein confidante Soe Thane, who was running as an independent after his USDP candidacy was blocked by Shwe Mann’s faction. Kachin Democracy Party candidate La Ma Naw Aung has won the Lower House Kachin seat of Injangyang.

On the state and divisional level, the NLD have won 24 of 28 seats declared at 11pm: two for Pegu Division (Shwedaung 1 and 2), 10 in Mandalay (each of two constituencies in Amarapura, Singu, Kyaukse, Mahlaing and Madaya) and 12 in Rangoon (each of two constituencies in Mingaladon, Dala, Kyauktda, Kyimindaing, Hlaing and Thongwa).

The Wa Democratic Party has won both state constituencies in Hopang, while the USDP picked up both divisional constituencies in Meiktila.

By our count, that’s now 106 races definitively called by the election commission, out of 1171 seats up for grabs nationwide.

On that note, we’re calling it a night. Thank you for following us again today—on behalf of the whole Irrawaddy team, it’s been our privilege to bring you news from the election, the vote count and developments on the ground as they’ve happened. Whatever comes to pass in the weeks and months ahead, the atmosphere in this country over these last 48 hours has been electrifying. We could talk about the emotion we’ve seen on the streets, but let’s be frank: if you’ve been following our updates, you’re probably feeling it yourselves.

We’ll be back in the morning to follow more UEC vote declarations and to bring you more news from the Sunday poll, in what has been without a doubt a momentous couple of days. We’ll leave you with another picture from out the front of the NLD headquarters in Rangoon. All the best, and see you tomorrow.

(Photo: Myo Min Soe / The Irrawaddy)
(Photo: Myo Min Soe / The Irrawaddy)

 

9:35pm: More official results from the Union Election Commission in Naypyidaw, telling us more of what we’ve been expecting. Of the 16 Lower House seats announced, the NLD won 13, including Shwedaung in Bago Division, five in Mandalay (Amarapura, Mattara, Singu, Kyaukse and Mahlaing), six in Rangoon (Mingaladon, Thongwa, Kyauktada, Dala, Kyimindaing and Hlaing), and Nyaungdone in Irrawaddy Division.

As predicted, the USDP picked up Meiktila in Mandalay, along with Mongyang in Shan State. Hopang Township goes to the Wa Democratic Party, the first ethnic regional party to get a confirmed result. The UEC says there will definitely be more results at 11pm so we’ll see you back here shortly after that. —Reporting by Kyaw Phyo Tha in Rangoon.


 

8:40pm: We’re winding down here folks, but stay tuned for what we expect will be two more announcements on election results from the Naypyidaw-based election commission. Those should come at 9pm and 11pm.


 

8:28pm: Nay Phone Latt, an influential media presence and former political prisoner who made a name for himself as a dissident blogger under the former military regime, has taken to Facebook, naturally, to declare himself winner of the constituency he contested on Sunday. If the social media blast proves true, he will take a seat in the Rangoon regional legislature next year, representing part of the commercial capital’s Thingangyun Township.

According the vote tallies posted to his Facebook account, the NLD won all four races in the township, with its candidates garnering about eight times more votes, on average, than the second place candidates from the USDP. Nay Phone Latt, now the executive director of the Myanmar ICT for Development Organization (MIDO), indicated that he had pwned his USDP opponent Tin Hlaing by a margin of 32,356 votes. —Reporting by Kyaw Hsu Mon in Rangoon.

NPT wins 2.0
Nay Phone Latt, center, a National League for Democracy candidate in Rangoon’s Thingangyun Township, distributes campaign materials during door-to-door canvassing on Sept. 16. (Photo: Facebook / YAT Group)

 

7:48pm: Loads of people are still out the front of the NLD’s Rangoon headquarters, awaiting more official results from the election commission:

NLD headquarters on Monday night. (Photo: Myo Min Soe / The Irrawaddy)
(Photo: Myo Min Soe / The Irrawaddy)

 

7:35pm: The Arakan National Party (ANP) appears off to a strong start as provisional reports come in. Zaw Aye Maung, the Arakanese ethnic affairs minister for Rangoon Division and a member of the ANP, tells The Irrawaddy that the party has secured 14 seats in the Upper House, including two Chin State seats; 13 of 17 elected seats in the Lower House; and 25 of 47 total seats, including military appointees, in the state legislature.

“That’s more than half of the state parliament,” Zaw Aye Maung said, adding that he is confident of keeping his position as ethnic affairs minister in Burma’s most populous administrative division. —Reporting by Moe Myint in Rangoon.


 

7:25pm: Breaking barriers in central Burma, poet Saw Thura Aung—also known as Mone Aung—looks set to become the country’s first known lawmaker living with disability. A long and painful battle with polio rendered Saw Thura Aung unable to walk without crutches, but that didn’t prevent him from joining the race as a member of the NLD. We’re still waiting on the UEC’s official announcement, but he says he’s ready to serve as a regional MP for Pegu’s Oakpho Township. —Reporting by Nobel Zaw in Rangoon. 

(Photo: Saw Thura Aung / Facebook)
(Photo: Saw Thura Aung / Facebook)

 

USDP Gen-Sec Defeated in Kalaw

7:17pm: The news is not getting any brighter for the ruling party. Tin Naing Thein, secretary general of the USDP, has reportedly lost to NLD candidate Pyone Kathe Naing for the Lower House seat of Kalaw Township, Shan State. In Kalaw Township, the NLD won the count in all five parliamentary seats on offer, including the Bamar ethnic affairs and Inn ethnic affairs ministerial posts. —Reporting by Nang Seng Nom in Shan State.


 

7:14pm: Latest results indicate the incumbent mayor of Mandalay and his predecessor have both suffered defeats. Mayor Aung Maung has lost his divisional parliament seat to NLD candidate Zarni Aung, while predecessor and USDP lawmaker Phone Zaw Han—who was running as an independent—was trounced in his respective divisional seat by the NLD’s Nyi Min Han (unofficial figures putting the vote count at over 38,800 to 7,201, in the NLD’s favor). —Reporting by Zarni Mann in Mandalay. 


 

7:11pm: Tin Maung Soe, the NLD’s candidate for Bamar ethnic affairs minister for Shan State, has told The Irrawaddy that his party, the SNLD, SNDP and the Union Pa-O national organization have sent a joint complaint to the election commission over 984 advance votes for the Lower House race in state capital Taunggyi. He said that among the 984 votes—all from military personel, and all lodged with the Taunggyi Township UEC office after polls closed at 4pm—980 were for USDP candidate Sai Zaw Zaw.

“We can’t accept these cheating votes,” he said. —Reporting by San Yamin Aung in Rangoon.


 

7:07pm: We didn’t get to see enough pictures from outside the NLD’s Rangoon headquarters today, owing to this afternoon’s internet troubles downtown. Here’s another shot from Myo Min Soe:

(Photo: Myo Min Soe / The Irrawaddy)
(Photo: Myo Min Soe / The Irrawaddy)

 

6:59pm: More big USDP losses in Sagaing Division, including two Union ministers and the chief minister, according to local electon commission offices.

Khin San Hlaing of NLD appears to have defeated Cooperatives Minister Kyaw Hsan in the race for the Lower House seat of Pale. Chief Minister Tha Aye, contesting the divisional constituency of Butalin No. 2, was defeated by the NLD’s Dr. Kyaw Zay Lin. Commerce Minister Win Myint Aung is trailing his NLD rival in Depayin Township, the site of the infamous attack on Aung San Suu Kyi’s convoy that left around 70 people dead.

Election commission officials say the NLD has won all divisional and Union seats in Butalin, Ayadaw, Chaung-U and Monywa, the latter home to the controversial Letpadaung copper mine. —Reporting by Thit Nay Moe in Monywa.


6:55pm: More internet dramas from MPT! Sorry for the delay.

The 20 seats declared for the Rangoon Division parliament by the UEC are both constituencies in Insein, Yankin, Thaketa, Dawbon, Tamwe, Pazundaung, Ahlone, Lanmadaw, Kamaryut and Dagon. Most of these are downtown, and there’s a lot of overlap with the Union seats the commission declared at 3:30pm. The winners include Naing Ngan Lin, who was set upon and stabbed during a campaign rally in Thaketa the week before last and spent several days in hospital.

As foreshadowed by our conversations with party officials this morning, the NLD’s almost total sweep of Rangoon is now more or less official. —Reporting by Lawi Weng in Rangoon. 


 

 

6:21pm: The UEC’s 6pm announcement has declared 20 more Rangoon Division seats, all for the NLD. Details to come shortly.


 

Election Commission Says Post-Poll Advance Ballots Invalid

6:19pm: The Union Election Commission has confirmed that all advance votes that arrived late at polling stations would be invalidated, as it was against election laws.

Commission member Myint Naing said in response to a question from The Irrawaddy: “If the advance votes arrive after 4pm, they would be invalid votes. If such cases happen, the candidates in these constituencies know and they can make complaints.”

“If you ask, it is good that more people know about it. We work in accordance with the [electoral] laws and bylaws,” he said, during a Naypyidaw press conference.

There have been reports of a large number of advance votes favoring USDP candidates in Lashio, where Vice President Sai Mauk Kham is seeking a Lower House seat, as well as Kachin State capital Myitkyina and some other polling stations in Pegu, Kachin, Shan and Naypyidaw’s Dekhinathiri Township.

The press conference did not address issues relating to ethnic voters who missed their chance to vote for state and divisional ethnic affairs ministers, as The Irrawaddy reported in Rangoon and Mon State. Other questions on the delayed release of election results, voter turnout and current actions against candidates who violated campaign laws.

The commission chair Tin Aye said earlier that there were 48 cases of electoral law violations, compared over 40,000 polling stations across the country. Anecdotal evidence gathered by reporters on Sunday suggest that issues with the voter lists were more widespread, but at this stage it remains too early to assess the scale of the problem outside of urban townships. —Reporting by Nyein Nyein and May Sitt Paing in Naypyidaw.


 

Pegu Division Update

5:55pm: With the exception of Zigon Township, the NLD is leading the count across Pegu Division, the party’s divisional secretary Kyaw Win told The Irrawaddy. “According to the current lists, the NLD is bound to win 94 percent [of seats] in the entire division,” Kyaw Win said. Vice-President Nyan Tun has reportedly won the Lower House seat of Zigon Township for the ruling party against rivals from the National Development Party, the National Unity Party, the NLD and the Myanmar Farmers Development Party. The USDP has also reportedly claimed the Upper House seat and two divisional parliament seats in the township. —Reporting by Thuzar in Pegu.


 

5:52pm: Looks like the internet was down across a large swath of downtown Rangoon and further north in townships like Kamaryut—just long enough for everyone’s imagination to run wild…


 

5:44pm: National Democratic Force (NDF) leader Khin Maung Swe confirmed his party looks to be staring down political oblivion as more results are tallied Monday.

“So far, we have not yet won a seat,” he told The Irrawaddy. “We are losing in all constituencies, though we do not yet clearly know about the vote count in northern Kachin State.” The NDF, a breakaway faction of the NLD formed to contest the 2010 election, filed candidates for over 250 seats across the country.

The Irrawaddy is continuing its attempts to contact other parties contesting seats on a nationwide basis, including the Ne Win-era National Unity Party, the Myanmar Farmers Development Party and the National Development Party, but with no luck as yet. So far, it appears that none have carved a substantial niche for themselves in the face of yesterday’s NLD onslaught. —Reporting by Htet Naing Zaw and San Yamin Aung in Rangoon.


 

5:36pm: The crowds are back out the front of the NLD’s Rangoon headquarters, here’s a pic from a short while ago before the storm hit:

The crowd outside the NLD headquarters in Rangoon on Monday afternoon. (Photo: Myo Min Soe / The Irrawaddy)
(Photo: Myo Min Soe / The Irrawaddy)

 

5:33pm: At this stage, the Union Election Commission has not announced any more results than the 12 Union and 4 divisional seats in Rangoon that were published during Tin Aye’s press conference. We expect more declared results at 6pm, 9pm and 11pm.


 

‘We Lost,’ Says USDP’s Htay Oo

5:31pm: “We lost,” USDP joint chairman Htay Oo has told Reuters in an interview.

“We have to find out the reason why we lost,” he added, in the strongest indication yet that the party is coming to terms with its dramatically diminished post-Nov. 8 political standing.

Speaking to the news agency from his home in Irrawaddy Division’s Hinthada Township, Htay Oo reiterated earlier comments made to The Irrawaddy’s Tin Htet Paing, saying the USDP would accept the results of the election “without any reservations.” Addressing his own loss in Hinthada, the party leader expressed surprise at the result, telling Reuters it was unexpected “because we were able to do a lot for the people in this region.”

The fact that opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi was kept under house arrest for more than a decade by the military junta of which Htay Oo was a part had “inflated her popularity” and helped lead her NLD to victory, Reuters quoted the USDP leader as saying, without making mention of the inherent irony. Htay Oo said he had not yet spoken to President Thein Sein about the election’s outcome.


 

5:29pm: Sorry everyone! The internet in our Rangoon office was knocked out for the last hour, probably something to do with the storm rolling through town. We are back in business now, hopefully we didn’t spook anyone too badly.


 

4:27pm: We knew Irrawaddy Division would be a major electoral battleground, and hope to bring you a complete picture soon. Right now it’s looking like a big gain for the NLD, which has toppled a number of high-profile USDP candidates including the party’s acting chairman Htay Oo and Sports Minister Tint Hsan. While you wait for more comprehensive results, have a look at some of the candidates and issues that make the Irrawaddy delta such a dynamic political arena.


 

4:20pm: Back online after a brief office-wide internet outage. Still in Burma after all..


 

4:10pm: It appears that Soe Myint, the NLD candidate who died of a heart attack on Friday during a campaign rally, has won resoundingly in the Sagaing divisional seat of Myinmu. The NLD say they have been informed by the divisional election commission office that Soe Myint’s votes will be rejected, and USDP Thaung Myint appears to be the winner according to provisional results. —Reporting by Kyaw Hsu Mon in Rangoon. 


 

4:08pm: We made a mistake in our earlier coverage of announced Rangoon Division results (see 3:33pm). In fact, the USDP won Seikkan No.1, while three seats have been declared for the NLD.


 

4:05pm: With reports that Ohn Myint, Mon State’s 71-year-old incumbent chief minister, has lost his bid for election in Mudon Township, here’s a look back at our preview of the Mudon race from Yen Snaing on Friday. 

Ohn Myint, the incumbent chief minister of Mon State, at Mudon’s Shwe Hinthar hall in Mon State on Friday where he gave a speech to supporters. (Yen Snaing / The Irrawaddy)
Ohn Myint, the incumbent chief minister of Mon State, at Mudon’s Shwe Hinthar hall in Mon State on Friday where he gave a speech to supporters. (Yen Snaing / The Irrawaddy)

 

4:00pm: Following on from Thin Lei Win’s Sunday article in Myanmar Now, filmmaker Lamin Oo has written his account of voting for the first time in Coconuts Yangon:

“It will be a lie to say that I’ve waited all my life to vote. I’ve never waited. I’ve never really thought I will get the chance. This is what happens when you are brought up under oppression. You lose hope.”


 

3:46pm: An NLD candidate says the party has swept Burma’s most populous constituency, Hlaing Tharyar Township in Rangoon Division, winning all four seats up for a vote on Sunday. Dr. Than Myint, who ran for Hlaing Tharyar’s Lower House seat, said the party is awaiting approval of the result from the Naypyidaw-based Union Election Commission.

And in The Irrawaddy’s first reported results out of Magwe Division, Myothit Township has gone to the NLD, according to Thar Aung, the party’s Lower House candidate for the township. The UEC has returned Form 19 to the NLD, he said, indicating that the commission and all contestants have signed off on the result. —Reporting by Moe Myint in Rangoon.


 

3:39pm: Shwe Hla, the NLD’s campaign manager in Mandalay, told reporter Zarni Mann that his party had lost all four state and divisional seats in Meiktila. The results would sent former divisional Security Minister Aung Kyaw Moe to the Mandalay Parliament, and Upper House Speaker would pick up the seat he is contesting for the Lower House. The NLD also appears to be losing in Pyawbwae Township, south of Meiktila on the road to Naypyidaw.


 

3:33pm: The UEC now says that the NLD has won three divisional seats in Rangoon, two in Latha and one in Seikkan. The other Seikkan seat has gone to the USDP.  (****CORRECTED, see 4:08pm****)


 

3:31pm: Official results for the rest of Rangoon haven’t been released yet, but it’s looking like a clean sweep in the divisional parliament for Rangoon’s eastern district, according to the local election commission chair Kyi Lwin. The eastern district takes in the townships between Bohtahtaung and Dagon Seikkan.


 

3:28pm: Here’s another photo from the UEC’s results center in Rangoon, where Tin Aye’s press conference is being simulcast:

(Photo: Myo Min Soe / The Irrawaddy)

 

Election Commission Begins Announcing Official Results

3:18pm: The UEC has made its first official declaration of seat results, all for Lower House constituencies in Rangoon Division. Latha, Seikkan, Insein, Yankin, Thaketa, Dawbon, Tamwe, Pazundaung, Ahlone, Lanmadaw, Kamaryut and Dagon have all been won by the NLD. Commission chairman Tin Aye also told media at a Naypyidaw press conference just now that out of over 40,000 polling stations nationwide, there had been recorded instances irregularities and violations at only 48 of them.

UEC chair Tin Aye at the press conference. (Photo: JPaing / The Irrawaddy)
UEC chair Tin Aye at the press conference. (Photo: JPaing / The Irrawaddy)

 

3:17pm: The All Mon Region Democracy Party (AMDP), which won 16 seats in Burma’s 2010 general election, looks set for a near total wipeout in this year’s poll, with results so far indicating the party has claimed only a solitary seat—a local parliament seat in Chaungzon Township won by Aung Naing Oo. The other major ethnic Mon party, the Mon National Party, fared little better, claiming only three seats thus far—two in Ye Township and one in Mudon Township. —Reporting by Yen Snaing in Moulmein


 

3:16pm: From Loikaw in Karenni State, Kyaw Kha reports that USDP spokesman Hla Myo claims his party has won seven seats out of the 34 state and Union constituencies available, including all four up for grabs in Bawlakhe. President’s Office Minister Soe Thane was running as an independent for the Upper House in Bawlakhe, and appears to have been defeated if true, meaning our prediction for Karenni State is now entirely wrong


 

2:54pm: Reuters quotes NLD central executive committee member Win Htein as saying the party is on track to win more than 70 percent of total seats based on unofficial results. Bearing in mind that 25 percent of seats are reserved for military appointees, to say Win Htein’s comments suggest a total rout of the USDP could be a late entrant in the Understatement of the Year Awards.


 

Kachin Voters Concerned Advance Votes Could Tip Scales

2:45pm: Advance military votes favoring the USDP reached the Kachin State capital Myitkyina after polls closed on Sunday, arousing suspicion among local voters and candidates. Sources in Myitkyina told The Irrawaddy that “thousands” of advance votes cast by Burma Army soldiers stationed along the frontlines of the state’s civil war were brought to an office in the capital and counted in the presence of observers. The ballots, which the source said were cast in an area beyond the purview of election monitors, were overwhelmingly in favor of the ruling party. Bauk Ja, an ethnic Kachin candidate for the NDF in the Lower House race, said the late arrival of the ballots was “very concerning.” —Reporting by Feliz Solomon in Rangoon.


 

Susanna Hla Hla Soe, Karen Activist on NLD Ticket, Confident of Win

2:38pm: Official announcements from the election commission are still pending, but Susanna Hla Hla Soe tells The Irrawaddy she has secured a seat in the Upper House representing Rangoon’s Mingalardon and Insein townships. The candidate, best known for her work as director of the Karen Women’s Action Group, said votes had been tallied at all polling stations in her constituency and the commission had informed her of the victory. —Reporting by Kyaw Hsu Mon and Feliz Solomon in Rangoon.

Susanna Hla Hla Soe. (Photo: JPaing / The Irrawaddy)
(Photo: JPaing / The Irrawaddy)

 

2:25pm: Figures coming in from races in Tenasserim Division mirror provisional results from around the country that point to sweeping gains for the NLD. In Kawthaung Township, according to the local election commission, the NLD won all five seats in play—for the Lower and Upper houses respectively, the party polled roughly three times the number of votes gained by its closest rival, the ruling USDP. A member of the NLD’s Tenasserim Division chapter told The Irrawaddy the party was ahead in the majority of races in the division. —Reporting by Yen Snaing in Moulmein. 


2:04pm: Here’s another picture from Mandalay. Locals are watching LED screens outside the NLD’s divisional headquarters this morning.

Mandalay locals outside NLD headquarters on Monday morning. (Photo: Teza Hlaing / The Irrawaddy)
(Photo: Teza Hlaing / The Irrawaddy)

 

1:57pm: Back to Chin State, where USDP lawmaker and CEC member Aung Ko announced on his Facebook page that he has won the Lower House seat of Kanpetlet Township, a race against candidates from the NLD and two ethnic Chin parties.


1:56pm: Incumbent Mandalay chief minister Ye Myint has lost his bid for election in Pyin Oo Lwin, according to divisional election commission results. NLD candidate Dr. Khin Maung Htay appears to have won by a margin of 10,000 votes, despite strong support of Ye Myint among military personnel based in the Central Regional Command. —Reporting by Zarni Mann in Mandalay. 


NLD Lodges Complaint over Alleged Voter Fraud in Lashio

1:51pm: The NLD and Shan Nationalities League for Democracy party have filed a joint complaint letter to the Union Election Commission over an advance vote dispute in the Lower House seat of Lashio, according to NLD candidate Tun Shwe.

Tun Shwe said the complaint alleges that nearly all 11,815 advance votes over four state and Union seats in Lashio were cast for the USDP, 3,800 of which were for the Lower House seat contested by Vice President Dr. Sai Mauk Kham, pictured below in February during a school visit in the township.

The complaint says that the advance votes were lodged with the local election commission after polls closed at 4pm. Under the commission’s election regulations, for advance votes to be considered valid, they were required to be lodged before polls opened at 6am.

“They received thousands of advanced votes for each parliament,” Tun Shwe said. “For us, the NLD, SNLD and SNDP, we only received one or two digits. It is impossible. These advanced votes are believed be unfair, that is why we sent a complaint letter to the UEC.

There are more than 180,000 eligible voters in Lashio Township. The initial vote count for the Lower House seat was broadcast on Skynet yesterday evening, which showed Tun Shwe in a commanding lead over the vice president. —Reporting by Kyaw Hsu Mon in Rangoon.

Sai Mauk Kham in Lashio, Feb. 2015 (Photo: Soe Zeya Tun / Reuters)
(Photo: Soe Zeya Tun / Reuters)

 

Did the USDP Concede?

1:30pm: Reuters are now reporting that Htay Oo’s statement was effectively a concession of defeat by the USDP for the whole election, which has been quickly picked up by other international media outlets. Our understanding is that he only said that his party was well behind, but the NLD is in an absolutely commanding position, saying it has won around 70-80 percent of seats so far. Along with the party’s inroads into a number of ethnic states, it’s very hard to see at this stage how the result could be anything less than an NLD landslide.


1:21pm: In Naypyidaw, May Sitt Paing reports that the NLD’s Zeyar Thaw is leading his USDP rival by around 2,000 votes in the Lower House seat of Zabuthiri. In the Upper House race, Kyaw Myint Oo leads by around 6,500 over the USDP’s Hat Gyi.


 

1:11pm: Lawi Weng, reporting from Rangoon, has corroborated Yen Snaing’s earlier reports on the scale of the NLD victory in Mon State after speaking with Nai Soe Myint, a spokesman from the Mon National Party. He said that his party had only won three seats, two of them in Ye Township in the state’s south. The All Mon Region Democracy Party is so far leading in only one seat in Chaungzon township.


 

Shwe Mann Congratulates Rival, Says ‘Glad’ for NLD Victory

1:08pm: Former USDP chairman Shwe Mann, the first high-profile ruling party candidate to publicly concede this morning, earlier made a phone call to congratulate his NLD rival on his victory in yesterday’s election.

According to a Facebook post, Shwe Mann “personally congratulated” Than Nyunt for his victory in the Lower House Pegu seat of Phyu, which he repeated on social media.

Than Nyunt confirmed the phone call to The Irrawaddy.

“He personally called me, and said he was glad the NLD won,” he said.“We are high school friends. His message today shows how he is free from envy.”

Asked about the victory margin in Phyu, Than Nyunt demurred, saying he would wait until the results were made official by the election commission.

“But I can say the number of the votes between us is in thousands,” he said, a figure corroborated by Shwe Mann’s personal assistant Aung Win Tun. —Reporting by Kyaw Phyo Tha in Rangoon.


 

Htay Oo: ‘Hinthada Didn’t Choose Me’, Commits USDP to ‘Clean Election’

12:59pm: More words from Htay Oo to the press earlier. He admitted he lost the contest for the Lower House seat of Hinthada, noting that the USDP was losing in many regions across the country by a large margin.

“Since it is a general election, the decision is up to the public,” he said late this morning at his home. “For me, Hinthada didn’t chose me, so I can’t represent for Hinthada in parliament. That’s all. Nothing else.”

He added that while the current results were not yet official, the party would accept the outcome and would follow any polling station disputes to ensure a clean election. —Reporting by Tin Htet Paing in Hinthada.

USDP chairman Htay Oo at his home in Hinthada this morning. (Photo: Tin Htet Paing / The Irrawaddy)
USDP chairman Htay Oo at his home in Hinthada this morning. (Photo: Tin Htet Paing / The Irrawaddy)

 

12:42pm: Down in Pathein, Salai Thant Zin reports the NLD now believe they have won at least 89 of the 92 available seats in the Irrawaddy Delta, a 96 percent sweep in what had been touted by numerous observers as a USDP stronghold.


 

12:39pm: Unofficial results have begun trickling in from Mon State, where our reporter Yen Snaing is based in the capital Moulmein. In what looks like a huge result for the opposition party, Tint Naing, secretary of the NLD in Mon State, claimed the NLD had won all seats in play in Moulmein, Thanbyuzayat, Paung, Thaton, Kyaikto and Bilin townships.

Reported results in other areas indicate that:

  • In Chaungzon Township: the NLD won three seats and lost one to Aung Naing Oo of the All Mon Region Democracy Party in the local parliament.
  • In Ye Township: the NLD won three seats and the Mon National Party won two seats, according to the township election commission.
  • In Mudon Township: the NLD won three seats, including the constituency of incumbent state chief Ohn Myint. One seat was won by the Mon National Party.

12:34pm: Htay Oo, pictured below attending the NLD’s 2013 congress as a guest, was appointed USDP co-chairman after the August ouster of Shwe Mann and his allies. Reporter Tin Htet Paing tells us he has just conceded defeat in Hinthada.

Htay Oo at the NLD congress in Rangoon, 2013 (Photo: Soe Zeya Tun / Reuters)
(Photo: Soe Zeya Tun / Reuters)

 

NLD Dominates in Commercial Capital: Party

12:30pm: According to the NLD’s Central Information Team, the party won nearly every seat in Rangoon Division, exceptions being three races in the Coco Islands constituency and Seikkan Township’s seat No. 1 in the regional parliament. Races in Dala, Kungyangon, Thongwa, Kayan and Kyauktan townships are less certain at this point, but the party told The Irrawaddy it is likely to win these constituencies as well. The commercial capital was considered a likely NLD stronghold ahead of the vote. — Reporting by San Yamin Aung in Rangoon.

The Rangoon skyline. (Photo: Reuters)
(Photo: Reuters)

 

12:28pm: Here’s how the Burmese language Myanmar Post reported last night’s early results:

(Photo: Steve Tickner / The Irrawaddy)
(Photo: Steve Tickner / The Irrawaddy)

 

12:24pm: NLD candidate Nang Khin Htwe Myint reports from Hpa-an that the party is winning in five out of six available Union seats in Karen State. The NLD is trailing in Papun Township, but appears to be set to win an outright majority of seats in state parliament. —Reporting by Saw Yan Naing in Rangoon.


 

12:18pm: Reporter Yen Snaing has spoken to the NLD’s Mon State chair Khin Saung, who claims incumbent chief minister Ohn Myint has lost his bid for election in Mudon Township to NLD rival Mya Theingi Maw. More updates on Mon State races to follow shortly.


 

12:15pm: Aung San Suu Kyi greeted her supporters at the NLD headquarters in Rangoon on Monday morning, urging them to remain peaceful and patient as election results trickle in.

“You all may know the probable election results, even though they haven’t been officially announced,” she said. “It is important to win with dignity. Winners have to be understanding of those who lose, as well. I have to thank [party patron] U Tin Oo for his leading role in our party’s success. Also, post-election stability in the country is important.” —Reporting by Kyaw Phyo Tha in Rangoon. 

Aung San Suu Kyi arrives at her party headquarters on Monday morning. (Photo: Soe Zeya Tun / Reuters)
Aung San Suu Kyi arrives at her party headquarters on Monday morning. (Photo: Soe Zeya Tun / Reuters)

 

12:10pm: Sent to us this morning by cartoonist Stephff:Burmese democracy is coming


 

12:05pm: The NLD’s Mandalay campaign manager Shwe Hla says the party is ahead in 30 of the 36 Lower House constituencies in Mandalay and Naypyidaw. The party believes it is losing Meiktila, the seat of retiring NLD central committee member Win Htein and the site of an outbreak of communal violence in 2013 that left more than 40 people dead.

The Irrawaddy is attempting to confirm reports that a large number of advance votes arrived at returns centers in Lashio, Taunggyi, Myitkyina and at least one Naypyidaw constituency late last night. —Reporting by Zarni Mann in Mandalay.


 

11:57am: More news from Arakan State. Khaing Kaung Sam, founder of the Sittwe-based election monitor Wunlark Development Foundation told The Irrawaddy on Monday morning it appeared the Arakan National Party won 12 Lower House seats, while the NLD won five.

“The ANP completely won in nothern Arakan and the NLD won more races in southern Arakan,” he said.

He confirmed ANP chairman Dr. Aye Maung was defeated in the Manaung (2) state constituency, with the NLD winning all three state and Union races in the area.

ANP patron Aye Thar Aung confirmed the party had won a majority of Arakan State races but was awaiting confirmation from the election commission. Party spokeperson Oo Hla Saw claimed the ANP won all seats in Mrauk-U.

Myint Wai of the Gwa Township NLD office said he believed his party had won all constituencies in Thandwe, Gwa and Toungup. Results are provisional until officially declared by the UEC. —Reporting by Moe Myint in Rangoon.


 

11:43am: As expected, unofficial results point to a strong showing for the Arakan National Party (ANP) in Arakan State. The party has reportedly claimed all three seats up for grabs in both Kyaukphyu and Ramree townships and is leading the count across the board in Minbya, Myebon and Mrauk-U townships.

As reported earlier, one major blip for the ANP was the defeat of party chairman Aye Maung in Manaung Township, a constituency reportedly swept by the opposition NLD. Former Arakan State chief minister Maung Maung Ohn won a seat for the ruling USDP in the local legislature in Ann Township Constituency (1), where military battalions and government departments are based. —Khin Oo Tha reporting in Kyaukphyu.

 

11:41am: Retired Gen. Hla Htay Win, a member of the USDP, has won the Lower House seat in Naypyidaw’s Zayarthiri Township with 36,704 votes, according to his campaign manager, beating out NLD candidate Khin Myo Thwin, who secured 20,856 votes. The National Unity Party candidate Hla Myint came in last, with just 920 votes. Hla Htay Win, formerly the chief of general staff for the Burma Army, Navy and Air Force, spoke to The Irrawaddy on the campaign trail last week. — Reporting by Nyein Nyein in Naypyidaw.


 

Chin Human Rights Activist Concedes, Predicts NLD Sweep

11:35am: Initial reports point to a strong lead for the NLD in Chin State, a remote and mountainous region that was devastated by flooding and landslides earlier this year. In Falam, renowned women and minority rights activist Cheery Zahau ceded to Salai Riang Vel of the main opposition party.

Zahau told The Irrawaddy on Monday that the NLD is trending toward big gains in state, though their campaign practices caused controversy. According to Zahau, the NLD “misled the people of Chin State,” many of whom believed they were voting for NLD chairwoman Aung San Suu Kyi.

A longtime activist, former exile and a vital figure in Burma’s peace process, Zahau said she will continue to work for the betterment of the people of Chin State, the country’s poorest and least developed.

“They played outside the rules,” she said. “I’m not going to give up.” —Reporting by Feliz Solomon in Rangoon.

(Photo: Steve Tickner / The Irrawaddy)
(Photo: Steve Tickner / The Irrawaddy)

 

11:30am: Suffice to say, our September article claiming Aung Min’s election was “all but certain” appears to have been a little too bold.


 

11:29am: The NLD’s Shadaw Township office reports that Aung Min, confidante of Thein Sein and head of the Myanmar Peace Center, appears to have lost in Karenni State’s Shadaw Township. He received 327 votes while the NLD’s Aung Kyaw Soe won 1,430 votes.

The UEC’s state office told The Irrawaddy it was too early to say who won and who lost, but commission officer Nyi Nyi Mi said: “You all know the election result from there already. So the situation will not change anything.” —Reporting by Kyaw Kha in Loikaw and Lawi Weng in Rangoon.


 

Morning Reading

11:11am: Burmese people woke up on Monday to no shortage of news and speculation in the pages of the country’s private dailies as election results began to trickle in at press deadlines last night, with the opposition NLD sounding confident about its standing in the polls nationwide.

(Photo: Steve Tickner / The Irrawaddy)
(Photo: Steve Tickner / The Irrawaddy)

 

11:08am: NLD Lower House candidate Win Min told The Irrawaddy on Monday that it appeared his party had lost in all four contests on the Coco Islands, which is largely populated by Navy personnel and civil servants.

He said that the USDP’s Lower House candidate, former Burma Navy chief Adm. Thura Thet Swe won with 1211 votes, ahead of the NLD on 266. Former Rangoon Division Border Affairs Minister Col. Tin Win won one of two divisional parliament seats with 936 votes, over the NLD’s 103 votes.

“The Nov. 8 election on the island was not fair. There were unlawful threats, unfairness actions and restrictions during and in the election. We will file (complaints on) all unlawful actions.” —Reporting by San Yamin Aung in Rangoon.


 

11:05am: Update from Salai Thant Zin in Pathein. He says the NLD now believes it has won at 83 out of 92 available seats in Irrawaddy Division.


 

11:00am: Reporter May Sitt Paing went to the election commission’s press conference in Naypyidaw this morning. She confirms that commission chairman Tin Aye will hold a press conference at 4pm today, with announcements of first results for metropolitan areas at 6pm, 9pm and 11pm.


 

10:58am: Reporter Tin Htet Paing, covering the campaign in Irrawaddy Division’s Hinthada, said that the NLD’s township joint secretary Khin Myint told her his party is leading over USDP chairman Htay Oo by around 33,000 votes, with 86 out of 283 polling stations counted. The local election commission office will not speak to media until the count is finished.


 

10:55am: NLD official Dr. Myo Nyunt, who is based down in Pathein, says it appears the party has won 75 out of 92 divisional and Union constituencies in the Irrawaddy Delta, where the USDP was running a number of high-profile incumbent ministers.

“We can confirm that we have won 75 constituencies so far, but we haven’t released an official announcement yet,” he said. All results are provisional. —Reporting by Salai Thant Zin in Pathein. 


 

10:30am: Reporter San Yamin Aung, who has been following the contest down in the Coco Islands closely since the campaign began, says she has come off the phone with an NLD candidate, who said the party had lost all four divisional and Union seats up for grabs down there. Again, as you’ll surely soon be sick of us saying, all results are provisional until they are declared by the election commission.


 

10:27am: We’re working to bring you a picture of what’s happening in Arakan State and should have a statewide picture soon. Multiple media sources say that Arakan National Party chairman Aye Maung has lost his contest, which was confirmed earlier by our reporter Moe Myint’s call to the party. In other parts of the state, it looks like the ANP has performed solidly. We’ll bring you an update shortly.


 

10:10am: First it was 9am, then it was 3pm. We’re now expecting the Union Election Commission to give its first official seat results at 6pm, possibly, from Naypyidaw. Here’s a photo of the day’s agenda from May Wong of Channel News Asia:

(Photo: May Wong / Twitter)
(Photo: May Wong / Twitter)

 

10:05am: A little under an hour ago, ousted USDP chairman and Union Parliament Speaker Shwe Mann (pictured below in the polling station queue yesterday) conceded the race in Bago’s Phyu Township, despite an early lead in the count. In a Facebook message, he congratulated his NLD rival Than Nyunt. Both men were in the same intake at the Defense Services Academy. Analysts and observers thought he had a better prospect of retaining his seat than many others in his party.

(Photo: Shwe Mann / Facebook)
(Photo: Shwe Mann / Facebook)

9:53am: Good morning readers, and welcome to Day Two of The Irrawaddy’s elections liveblog. If you missed it, check out all the happenings from an eventful yesterday here, as voters turned out, beginning before sunrise, to cast their vote in the historic general election. While election day passed without any major disturbances, some cases of voting irregularities were reported and several would-be voters did complain of being denied a ballot by polling station officials.

Today we’ll again keep you abreast of all the latest news as election returns begin to flow in and the nation comes to terms with the shifting political landscape. And stay tuned for the launch of our special elections results page, with race-by-race developments from Sunday’s election as information becomes available. —The Irrawaddy