Aung San Suu Kyi, MP

You can call her the Right Honorable MP from Basingstoke if you want, just don’t call her late for the session:

Opposition leader and Nobel peace prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi won a seat in Myanmar’s parliament Sunday, her party said, a momentous victory following a decades-long fight for democracy.

Staff from Suu Kyi’s party, the National League for Democracy, said she won and that several hundred people were waiting at NLD headquarters to celebrate the news, party spokesman Nyan Win said.

The chairman of the Yangon region of the election commission, Ko Ko, said official results may be known by Monday morning.

The formerly banned National League for Democracy was vying for 45 seats in the election. While the balance of power in the parliament will not change even if the opposition were to win all 45, the vote itself marks a symbolic victory for many in the country who have lived under military rule for 50 years.

Suu Kyi, 66, won by a landslide the last time Myanmar held multiparty elections, in 1990, but the junta ignored the results and placed her under house arrest.

I don’t have high hopes, but this is plenty good news as it is. Sure beats the Irrawaddy River choked with the bodies of saffron-robed monks.

Myanmar’s legislature has 664 seats, more than 80% of which are still held by lawmakers aligned with the military-backed ruling party, Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP).

Sunday, Win, the NLD spokesman, said the party had received more than 50 reports of voting irregularities.

In one area, ballot sheets had wax placed over the check box for the NLD, making it easier to erase the mark later and annul the vote, he said. In another area, ballots were found that had already been filled out, he said.

Wax! Brilliant!! (Note to Florida Election Commission: file this idea away for later use.)

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