Myanmar's Aung San Suu Kyi: NLD has won election majority

YANGON-Myanmar’s Aung San Suu Kyi has told the BBC she believes her party has won a parliamentary majority, in her first interview since the historic elections.

Early results point to a sweeping victory for her National League for Democracy (NLD), but final official results will not be known for days.

The election was seen as the most democratic in Myanmar for 25 years.

In an interview with the BBC’s Fergal Keane, Ms Suu Kyi said the polls were not fair but “largely free”.

She said there had been “areas of intimidation”.

A quarter of Myanmar’s 664 parliamentary seats are set aside for the army, and for the NLD to have the winning majority it will need at least two-thirds of the contested seats.

But Ms Suu Kyi told the BBC that her party has surpassed that, and has won around 75%.

The military-backed Union Solidarity Development Party (USDP) has been in power in Myanmar since 2011 when the country began its transition from decades of military rule to a civilian government.

Aung San Suu Kyi was brimming with confidence. This was a leader who strongly sensed her hour had come.

“The times have changed, the people have changed,” she said.

On the vexing question of the presidency from which she is constitutionally barred, she repeated she would make the big decisions while a colleague holds the post, joking: “A rose by another name.”

We met in the garden of the house where she had spent so many years under house arrest and where I first interviewed her 20 years ago.

From the symbol of an embattled and then fragile democracy movement she has become the steely leader of a government in waiting.