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  1. ITV Report

Burma celebrates democratic 'victory'

Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy (NLD) says it has one at least 19 of the 45 seats in the historic by-election. Photo: Damir Sagolj / Reuters

Pro-democracy leader and Nobel peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi has won a seat in Burma's historic by-election, according to her party the National League for Democracy.

Supporters of the National League for Democracy celebrate in Yangon today. Credit: Reuters

The elections for 45 seats in the 1,158-seat legislature are seen as a test of the country's reform credentials. Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy (NLD) party claimed victories in 40 of the 45 seats contested and announced to loud cheers that she had won in Kawhmu, southwest of the commercial capital Yangon.

We keep hearing we have had more success but we need to hear it from our candidates

– NLD supporter to Reuters journalist

Traffic around the NLD's crumbling Yangon offices ground to a halt as about 2,000 supporters gathered, waving flags and cheering as one by one, NLD candidates claimed victories.

The charismatic and wildly popular Suu Kyi did not address the crowd but issued a statement:

Suu Kyi at a polling station in the village of Wah Thin Kha today. Credit: Reuters

It is natural that the NLD members and their supporters are joyous at this point.

However, it is necessary to avoid manners and actions that will make the other parties and members upset. It is very important that NLD members take special care that the success of the people is a dignified one.

– Aung San Suu Kyi

The Election Commission has yet to confirm any of the results.

The ruling Union Solidarity and Development Party has not made any comments.

Our International Correspondent John Irvine is in Burma

Suu Kyi had complained last week of "irregularities" but did not make any serious complaints today.

Voters filed into makeshift polling stations from dawn, some gushing with excitement after casting ballots for the frail Suu Kyi, or "Aunty Suu" as she is affectionately known.

Supporters of Myanmar democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy gather outside the party headquarters today. Credit: AP Photo/Khin Maung Win

Suu Kyi had complained last week of "irregularities", though none were significant enough for any immediate dispute.

Voters filed into makeshift polling stations from dawn, some gushing with excitement after casting ballots for the frail Suu Kyi, or "Aunty Suu" as she is affectionately known.

To be regarded as credible, the vote needs the blessing of Suu Kyi.

President Thein Sein, a general in the former military junta, has surprised the world by making a serious of political reforms since freeing Suu Kyi from house arrest in November 2010.

The military junta came to power in 1962 and have ruled the ruled the country through a parliament stuffed with army generals, or retired military personnell.

Campaigners outside Rangoon yesterday. Credit: Reuters

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