၂၀၁၅ ေရြးေကာက္ပြဲ Irrawaddy.org
DECISION 2015

Irrawaddy Liveblog: The Post-Vote Landscape

Day Three of The Irrawaddy’s rolling coverage of the Nov. 8 general election and its aftermath, as a clearer picture of the poll’s outcome emerges.


10:03 pm: Thank you for joining us throughout this whirlwind that began on Sunday, when the citizens of Burma made history by turning out for the first general election since the start of a long and unpredictable transition to democracy. Millions took to the polls to choose the country’s next leaders, and while we can’t yet make a definitive call—as results will keep streaming in over the coming days—it’s clear how things are trending.

Activists, former political prisoners, ethnic minorities and women are already among those selected to represent the people of Burma. Aung San Suu Kyi, the leader of the opposition National League for Democracy, has been endorsed once again by her constituency. Her party looks likely to claim a large share of the Union Parliament, putting it in power, as it was chosen to be 25 years ago but was denied the chance.

We’ll keep you posted on outstanding election results as they come, but for now we’re signing off. If you somehow missed the massive and moving events of the past two days, you can revisit them here and here. Good night, and good luck. — The Irrawaddy


 

9:56 pm: Here’s the results from the UEC’s latest announcement. The NLD picked up 40 of the 48 state and division seats announced; the USDP won seven; and the Kayin People’s Party won a solitary seat. That’s 212 regional seats announced officially so far, of which the NLD has won 182.


 

7:50pm: We’re hearing from three separate sources that the Shan State election commission office has declared Vice President Dr. Sai Mauk Kham the winner in Lashio, despite trailing in the early count and an ongoing cloud over the validity of the advance vote. NLD rival Tun Shwe said he would raise a complaint with the UEC. State results show Sai Mauk Kham with more than 30,000 votes to Tun Shwe’s 25,000. —Reporting by Lawi Weng and Kyaw Phyo Tha in Rangoon. 


 

7:15pm: Just a reminder about our brand spanking new results page, where after this evening we’ll be updating our seat tally and interactive map with the UEC’s declared Union Parliament count, as it comes to hand in the days to come.


 

7:09pm: After results were announced at 6pm, election commission chairman Tin Aye said that of 117 cases, 34 complaints were lodged with the UEC, 31 of which had been settled. Without giving any further details of each instance, he also said there had been two instances of “tearing ballot papers”, 33 instances of people casting ballots on the behalf of others, six instances of polling stations being “disturbed”, and reports of a monk and a nun attempting to cast votes.

He added that three people had died while waiting at polling stations, while one other person had died on their way to the polling station, without providing any information about the circumstances of the deaths.

Why the commission chair said there were only 34 complaints lodged is unclear. At a press conference on Monday, he said there were 48 reported violations of electoral law 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.

No word from Tin Aye about any of the advance vote disputes in Taunggyi, Lashio or Myitkyina. —Reporting by Kyaw Phyo Tha in Rangoon. 


 

6:52pm: Senior reporter Kyaw Phyo Tha has spoken to an official close to the president, who says that Thein Sein is ready to congratulate Suu Kyi on the NLD’s victory, but only once the UEC has confirmed the rest of the election’s seat results. If the commission keeps releasing seats at its current rate, that might not be before the weekend. Our story here.

President Thein Sein and his wife show their fingers, marked with indelible ink, after voting in Naypyidaw on Sunday.
President Thein Sein and his wife show their fingers, marked with indelible ink, after voting in Naypyidaw on Sunday. (Photo: JPaing / The Irrawaddy)

 

6:38pm: For everyone playing along at home, the NLD has been declared the winner in 249 of the 285 seats officially announced so far. That’s above 85 percent. Cool your jets though, because there’s still 850 to go. There will be two more announcements today, at 9pm and 11pm.


 

6:25pm: Of the 33 Upper House seats announced by the UEC, 29 were won by the NLD:

  • Karenni State Nos. 3, 4, 7 and 12
  • Tenasserim Division Nos. 2 and 3
  • Pegu Division Nos. 5, 6, 7, 10, 11 and 12
  • Magwe Division Nos. 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5
  • Mon State Nos. 1, 2, 5 and 6
  • Rangoon Division Nos. 1, 2, 3, 4, 7 and 8
  • Irrawaddy Division Nos. 8 and 9.

Of the remaining four, two went to the USDP (Karenni-8 and Chin-6), one to the Zomi Congress for Democracy (Chin-5), and one was Soe Thane (Karenni-9). With these results, there remains 135 elected seats yet to be declared in the Upper House.


 

6:15pm: Soe Thane, the President’s Office minister and architect of recent economic reforms, has won the Upper House seat he was contesting as an independent after all. So our Karenni State prediction was half right. More to come.


 

6:10pm: Looks like we’ve got our first official Upper House results. We’ll update you shortly with the UEC’s 6pm seat declarations.


 

6:00pm: Here’s our wrap of the EU observer mission press conference, which discussed, amongst other things, problems with advance voting and lack of transparency at military cantonment polling stations.


 

4:40pm: In other UEC news, the commission is currently holding a press conference, which is being televised over Skynet, to discuss the allegations of voter fraud in Lashio. We’ll bring you more details soon.


 

4:35pm: Here’s the results from the UEC’s latest announcement. The NLD picked up 46 of the 58 state and divisional seats declared at 3pm:

  • 21 in Magwe Division
  • 2 in Mandalay Division
  • 4 in Karenni State
  • 5 in Shan State
  • 2 in Rangoon Division
  • 12 in Irrawaddy Division

The USDP picked up seven: both Coco Islands seats in Rangoon Division, both Laukkai seats in northeastern Shan State, Kangyidaunt in Irrawaddy Division, Ywangan in Shan State’s Danu area, and Tedim No. 1 in Chin State.

The other Tedim seat went to the Zomi Congress for Democracy, their second acquisition. The Shan Nationalities League for Democracy, which is closely aligned with the NLD, won the remaining four seats—it took both constituencies in Laihka and both in Langkho.

That makes 164 state and divisional seats announced. By our count, there’s just over 480 state and divisional seats left to be announced.


 

3:50pm: While we’re tabulating the latest regional results, a recap of the day so far. Still no word from President Thein Sein. Aung San Suu Kyi has reiterated in an interview with Channel News Asia that should the NLD take the presidency—as has seemed a total certainty since early Monday morning—she will be calling the shots. Senior figures from the Irrawaddy Division government have joined USDP chair Htay Oo in conceding defeat on behalf of the party.

The NLD’s Win Htein has told reporters that he believes the election commission is deliberately delaying results, perhaps to “play a trick”. A rather incompetent trick, it would seem, given that 90 percent of the results announced so far have been for the NLD, and provisional results published at the commission’s regional offices are showing an NLD wipeout almost across the board—the sole exception being the ANP’s strong showing in Arakan State.

The Carter Center and EU observation teams have given press conferences and we’ll have separate articles about those shortly.

The UEC’s official result declarations appear to be picking up steam, but there’s still a long way to go, and we have yet to see any Upper House seat announcements.

Earlier, we said there were 330 elected seats in the Lower House, along with the 110 seats reserved for the military. Of course, we forgot to mention the seven townships where elections had been cancelled entirely by the UEC (Kyethi, Mong Hsu, Panghsang, Mongmaw, Panwai, Naphan and Mong La, in areas under the control of the Shan State Army-North, Mongla Army, and United Wa State Party).

So, with 88 Lower House seats declared, that leaves 235 to go.


 

3:18pm: Just under 60 state and divisional constituencies announced by the UEC at 3pm. No surprises, but we’ll have a breakdown for you shortly.


 

2:48pm: Ahead of the UEC’s expected results announcement at 3pm, now seems like a good time to unveil our results page. We’ll be putting up results for the Union Parliament here as they come in.


 

2:05pm: May Wong has interviewed Suu Kyi for Channel News Asia. We haven’t been able to watch the footage because…we live in Burma, but Wong’s Twitter page says the NLD leader reiterated last week’s comments that the next president would have “no authority”, should her party be able to form the next government.

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

 

1:45pm: Saw Yan Naing reports that the NLD are claiming a majority across the Union Parliament, saying they have won at least 380 seats—well over the number needed to guarantee the party’s selection of the president and formation of the next government.


 

1:40pm: Apologies for the delay, internet woes persist here in Rangoon. Below, the latest 34 Lower House seat winners in detail:

  • Chin State’s Tedim Township: Zomi Congress for Democracy (1 seat)
  • Irrawaddy Division’s Kangyidaunt, Thabaung, Kyonpyaw, Yegyi, Myanaung, Maubin, Kyaiklat and Dedaye: NLD (all 8 seats)
  • Karenni State’s Demoso and Shadaw townships: NLD (two seats)
  • Magwe Division’s Taungtwingyi, Myothit, Natmauk, Minbu, Pwintbyu, Seikphyu, Saw, Kamma, Sinbaungwe, Aunglan and Magwe towmnships: NLD (all 11 seats)
  • Mandalay Division’s Patheingyi Township: NLD (1 seat)
  • Mon State’s Moulmein and Chaungzon townships: NLD (2 seats)
  • Pegu Division’s  Tharrawaddy Township: NLD (1 seat)
  • Rangoon Division’s Mingalataung Nyunt (NLD, 1 seat) and Coco Islands (USDP, 1 seat) townships
  • Shan State’s Lin Khay and Lechar townships both went to the Shan Nationalities League for Democracy, while the NLD took Naung Cho, Kalaw, Ywangan, and the USDP won the Laukkai Township seat.

Among the latest winners, the prominent HIV/AIDS activist Phyu Phyu Thin will represent Mingalar Taung Nyunt for the NLD in Parliament next year. The USDP has been returned in Laukkai, site of heavy clashes between the military and Kokang rebels in February and March. President’s Office Minister and Myanmar Peace Center head Aung Min has officially lost his tilt at Shadaw.

All told now, the UEC has announced NLD wins for 78 of the 88 Lower House seats declared so far, and 96 of 106 state and divisional legislature seats. The ruling USDP has now won five Union Parliament seats and three in regional legislatures. Ethnic parties have now won five seats in the Lower House and four in regional legislatures. —Reporting by Nyein Nyein in Naypyidaw.


 

1:35pm: During an interview at her Rangoon home today, Aung San Suu Kyi told BBC that Sunday’s election was not fair but had been “largely free”, adding that there had been some “areas of intimidation”.


 

12:58pm: With the exception of the Lower House seat of Zigon, the NLD has won all the seats in Pegu Division, including ethnic affairs minister posts, according to the Pegu Division office of the election commission.


12:42pm: Aung Naing Oo looks set to be the lone representative of his All Mon Region Democracy Party (AMDP) in the new Mon State parliament. The incumbent MP confirmed he had won his seat in Chaungzon Township on Mon State’s Bilu Kyun—one of the few bright spots in an otherwise bleak electoral showing for the party, which won 16 seats in 2010.
Speaking to The Irrawaddy on Tuesday morning, Aung Naing Oo had already cast one eye to the future. “Our party needs to be reformed to get the people’s support,” he said, adding that despite the poor result for both major ethnic Mon parties, he was “very glad” to see the NLD in a strong position. The Mon National Party (MNP) has claimed three seats—two in Ye Township in southern Mon State and one in Mudon Township—according to the party. New results to hand indicate it may also have picked up the state seat of Mudon No. 2.
Aung Naing Oo cited the major Mon parties’ failure to merge as a factor in local election results which have seen wins for the NLD juggernaut across the board. “If we had only one ethnic Mon party we could win more candidates,” he said. “Because now the people are not clear on [whether] they should vote for the AMRDP or MNP. So in this election, most of our Mon people [cast] separate votes. So we lost this election.” —Reporting by David Hopkins in Chiang Mai. 
Aung Naing Oo at his home in Mon State’s Chaungzon Township on Bilu Kyun earlier this year. (Photo: David Hopkins / The Irrawaddy)
Aung Naing Oo at his home in Mon State’s Chaungzon Township on Bilu Kyun earlier this year. (Photo: David Hopkins / The Irrawaddy)

 

12:34pm: A senior cabinet member from the Irrawaddy Division government says the USDP will happily accept the decision of the people and the current divisional ministry will leave their positions.

“I’m no longer excited about the election results,” Win Ko Ko, the divisional finance minister, told The Irrawaddy by phone on Tuesday morning, becoming the first figure from the divisional government to concede defeat. “We have done our best. If we lose, we just have to leave and there will be no problems. When the results are announced, we will accept them. I want to say we will peacefully accept the people’s decision.”

Led by chief minister Thein Aung, 11 cabinet members from the Irrawaddy Division government contested the Nov 8 general election for the USDP. It appears that 10 have been defeated by NLD candidates.

Soe Myint, the division’s forestry and mining minister, said that they would transfer power to the next government.

“That’s the people decision, and we have to accept it,” he said. “We will transfer power to the next government to let them go ahead.”

So far, the USDP looks to have won only three seats in the delta. The party is ahead in divisional seats for Ngapudaw, Kyaunggon and Kangyidaunt, while the NLD has swept the rest of Irrawaddy Division. —Reporting by Salai Thant Zin in Pathein. 


 

NLD Rout Continues as UEC Awards It 29 of 34 Lower House Seats

12:24pm: The UEC’s latest batch of election results reaches further afield than previously announced contests, with races called in Chin, Karenni and Shan states, in addition to several more from the ethnic Burman heartland. The NLD took 29 of 34 Lower House seats in latest polling data released by the UEC. The ruling USDP was the winner of two seats, and ethnic Shan and Zomi parties snagged the other three. A township-by-township breakdown of the results will follow shortly. —Reporting by Nyein Nyein in Naypyidaw.


 

12:19pm: In case you missed it yesterday, The Irrawaddy’s Kyaw Phyo Tha crunched the numbers, and it appears nearly all of the 19 Union ministers have failed in their election bids.


 

12:17pm: The talk of what Sunday’s vote means for the US-Burma relationship begins. Suffice it to say, it’s complicated. Reuters has taken a look at prospects for a further lifting of American sanctions, with the top US diplomat in Asia putting it this way: “This was a hell of a step forward for the democratic process. Now comes the hard part.”


 

12:15pm: Yen Snaing, who is staying down in Moulmein to examine the local count, reports that the NLD have won all three ethnic affairs posts (Bamar, Karen and Pa-O) in Mon State.

Elsewhere, it appears the All Mon Regions Democracy Party, which contested the 2010 election despite a Mon National Party boycott, has won the Mon State No. 5 Upper House seat. It also looks like the Mon National Party have picked up the state seat of Mudon No. 2.


 

12:05pm: Staff photographer Steve Tickner has given us more photos of the festive atmosphere outside the NLD’s Rangoon headquarters in Bahan last night:

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

 

11:54am: More news on the clashes in Shan State from Lawi Weng.

Wanhai

 

11:50am: The Zomi Congress for Democracy appears to have won five seats in Chin State. The party is claiming victory for the Lower and Upper House races in Tedim and Tonzang in the state’s south, while the party also looks poised to pick up one of the state legislature seats up for grabs in Tonzang. —Reporting by Kyaw Hsu Mon in Rangoon.


 

BREAKING: CLASHES IN KYETHI

11:20am: Reporter Lawi Weng has just confirmed with Col. Sai La, spokesman for the Shan State Progressive Party/Shan State Army-North, that there’s been clashes between the SSA-N and the Burma Armed Forces in Kyethi Township at around 11am. There has been renewed fighting between the two camps since Oct. 6, despite a bilateral ceasefire signed in 2012 ostensibly remaining in effect. The SSA-N did not sign the government’s “nationwide” ceasefire agreement last month. We will update shortly.


 

The (Official) Results so Far

11:16am: We should have some more results from the UEC shortly. In the meantime, a recap of what’s been officially declared so far.

The NLD has won 49 of the 54 officially confirmed Lower House Union seats. Of the remaining, three are USDP, one is the Wa Democratic Party and one is the Kachin State Democracy Party.

There are 330 elected seats in the Lower house, along with 110 military seats, so there’s still 276 left to go. We’ve had no official Upper House seats as yet, which are mostly larger constituencies and will likely take longer to tally.

In state and divisional legislatures, the NLD has won 96 of 106 officially confirmed seats. Of the remainder, five are USDP, two are Wa Democratic Party, two are Kachin State Democracy Party and one is the Mon National Party.


 

10:55am: The NLD continues to dominate as the UEC tabulates election results bit by bit. Reporter Nyein Nyein in Naypyidaw tells us we’re in for more of the same as official calls are made as the week progresses. According to Naypyidaw’s Dekhinna District UEC subcommission, the NLD’s Kyaw Myint Oo has defeated the current Upper House MP in Mandalay constituency No. 10, Hmat Gyi of the ruling USDP. (Naypyidaw’s two Upper House constituencies are officially known as Mandalay Nos. 9 and 10.)


 

10:31am: Rangoon’s Seik Tai Kya teashop is feeling festive in the wake of Sunday’s election. Locals drop by for some complimentary food and friendship in celebration of what the venue is referring to as “the people’s victory.”

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

 

10:00am: Results are now in from the UEC for regional legislatures across eight states and divisions, with the NLD winning 50 of 54 contests. Candidates from the ruling USDP have won two races for constituencies in Karenni State’s Bawlakhe Township, and the Kachin State Democracy Party has triumphed in Injangyang, also winning that township’s two seats. Keep in mind that each of these townships returns two lawmakers to their respective state or regional legislature. Below, the full list of the latest results.

  • Irrawaddy Division’s Zalun, Lemyethna, Kyangin, Ingapu and Nyaungdon townships: NLD (10 seats)
  • Kachin State’s Injangyang Township: Kachin State Democracy Party (2 seats)
  • Karenni State’s Bawlakhe Township: USDP (2 seats)
  • Magwe Division’s Yenangyaung, Salin, Thayet and Mongton: NLD (8 seats)
  • Mandalay Division’s Maha Aung Myat, Pyigyitagon, Tada-U, Kyaukpadaung and Wundwin townships: NLD (10 seats)
  • Mon State’s Moulmein, Mudon and Thanbyuzayat townships: NLD (6 seats)
  • Rangoon Division’s Htan Ta Pin, North Oakkalapa, Botataung, Kun Chan Kone, San Chaung and Bahan: NLD (12 seats)
  • Tennasserim Division’s Longlone and Thayet Chaung townships: NLD (4 seats)

—Reporting by Nyein Nyein in Naypyidaw.


 

8:56am: A clearer picture of tomorrow’s Burma is beginning to take form; in just a few minutes we expect the next round of results from Sunday’s general election. As of last night, the polling commission had announced the outcomes of more than 100 races, bolstering early reports that the NLD will have a powerful presence in the next government.

As results continue to trickle in from all corners of the country, The Irrawaddy will be keeping you up to date on election outcomes nationwide. It’s been a momentous week here in Burma; to catch up on the events of the last two days, see our live coverage of Sunday’s landmark vote and the day that followed. Stay tuned.—The Irrawaddy