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  1. ITV Report

Burma votes in country's freest election in 25 years

A woman holds up her ink stained finger to show she has voted. Credit: Reuters

Burma has gone to the polls in the country's freest national election in 25 years.

About 30 million people turned out to cast their votes, showing up ink-stained fingers to prove they had done.

Around 30 million people are eligible to vote. Credit: Reuters
A Kayan woman from one of Myanmar's ethnic minority groups shows she has voted. Credit: Reuters

Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy (NLD) is expected to win the largest share of the vote, but she has been constitutionally barred from becoming president since the last free vote in 1990 when the military ignored the result.

She spent most of the next 20 years under house arrest before her release in 2010.

Aung San Suu Kyi smiles after casting her vote. Credit: Reuters

Ms Suu Kyi cast her vote at a polling station outside Yangon, flanked by bodyguards.

If she wins a majority and is able to form Myanmar's first democratically elected government since the early 1960s, Suu Kyi says she will adopt a role which is "above the president" - due to the rulesbarring her presidency.

Despite the popularity of Ms Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy (NLD), her party has a disadvantage as one quarter of parliamentary seats are reserved for the military.

To form a government and choose its own president the NLD - either on its own or with allies - must win more than two-thirds of all seats.

Voters queue in Myanmar, formerly known as Burma. Credit: Reuters
It is the country's first election since 1990. Credit: Reuters
Voters salute Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy (NLD) party. Credit: Reuters

The ruling Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP), which was established by the military junta, would need far fewer seats as it is likely to be to rely on military backing.

In the capital city of Naypyidaw, Min Aung Hlaing, Burma's military commander-in-chief, said the military would respect the vote.

Asked how he would feel if the NLD won, he told reporters: "If the people choose them, there is no reason we would not accept it."

Results from Burma's one-day election are expected to come in slowly with the official count due to be announced on Monday.

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