- Associated Press - Monday, November 9, 2015

YANGON, Myanmar (AP) - The latest on landmark elections in Myanmar. (All times local.)

11.15 p.m.

The top U.S. diplomat for East Asia says landmark elections appeared to have passed off smoothly in Myanmar, and called it a “hell of a step forward” for democracy in the Southeast Asian nation.

Assistant Secretary of State Daniel Russel told Washington-based reporters that the U.S. and other members of the international community would hold military chiefs to their commitment to honor the results of Sunday’s vote.

Few results have been officially declared, but the main opposition party of Aung San Suu Kyi is predicting it has won by a landslide.

Russel stressed that information about the election was still coming in, but said that the main Myanmar nongovernment election monitoring group had reported no significant incidents of violence or interference with the voting process.

He said that the coming weeks would be a delicate and important time, and called on Myanmar’s political leaders to cooperate among themselves to ensure the political process is orderly and peaceful as a new government is formed.

9:55 p.m.

Myanmar’s opposition party says it has won virtually every seat in Parliament from the four states for which results are known in a landslide victory that is expected to continue in the remaining 10 states.

Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy party began announcing its tallies Monday evening, revealing sweeps in Yangon, Ayeyarwaddy, Bago and Mon.

In Yangon, the party said it had won 44 of the 45 lower house and all 12 upper house seats in Sunday’s general election. In Ayeyarwaddy Division, or state, it won all 26 lower house seats and all 12 upper house seats. In Bago, the NLD said it got 27 of the 28 lower house seats and all 12 upper house seats. And in Mon, it took 11 of the 19 lower house seats and all 10 of the seats in the upper house.

The results represent a rout of the military-backed Union Solidarity Development Party, which replaced five decades of military rule in 2011 with a quasi-civilian government.

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8:30 p.m.

Opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi’s party says it has won 44 of the 45 lower seats for Yangon in Myanmar’s parliamentary elections.

The National League for Democracy announced Monday that it has also swept the upper house, winning all 12 seats for Yangon, Myanmar’s biggest city.

The results were not confirmed by the government’s Election Commission, which has been releasing the results at a slow place. However, the NLD has posted representatives at counting centers who are able to give an accurate tally.

The results indicate that the NLD is heading toward a landslide victory in Sunday’s elections, and that it could expect similar outcomes from other parts of the country.

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3:55 p.m.

Myanmar’s Election Commission says Aung San Suu Kyi’s opposition party has won 12 lower house seats from the main city of Yangon, as it announced the first official results of the country’s historic election.

The announcement Monday elicited raucous cheers outside the opposition party’s headquarters in Yangon, where crowds had gathered in expectation of a landslide win for the National League for Democracy.

The 12 seats were among 45 representing townships in Yangon.

The Election Commission is expected to announce more results from Sunday’s election later Monday.

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2 p.m.

Crowds sang songs dedicated to Aung San Suu Kyi, as hundreds waited outside her opposition party headquarters for confirmation of her historic election victory.

Lyrics to the song, called “The Strong Peacock,” in reference to the party’s symbol, became popular with supporters nationwide during the campaign period.

On Monday, many sang in unison as big screens erected outside the party’s Yangon office showed pictures and videos of the 70-year-old Nobel laureate and former political prisoner.

They sang: “She is the people’s leader that the whole world knows… Write your own history in your hearts for our future, so the dictatorship will end. Go, go, go (away) dictatorship.”

Suu Kyi spoke to the crowd earlier Monday, hinting at a victory and a spokesman said the party had won about 70 percent of votes so far.

The government was expected to start announcing final results Monday evening.

- Esther Htusan in Yangon

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1 p.m.

A spokesman of Myanmar’s opposition says the party has won about 70 percent of votes counted so far nationwide in Sunday’s elections.

National League for Democracy party spokesman Win Htein said the party has won between 50 and 80 percent votes in Myanmar’s 14 states.

He told The Associated Press on Monday that the party’s strongest showing is in the heartland states, where it appears to be grabbing an 80 percent share of the votes. The support falls off slightly to 70-50 percent in the ethnic states.

“All of these have to be confirmed by the Union Election Commission. But we are sure about those numbers,” he said.

The comments, if confirmed by official results, indicate that the party led by Aung San Suu Kyi is heading for a landslide victory.

- Esther Htusan in Yangon

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11 a.m.

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi has hinted at a victory for her party in historic elections, and is urging supporters not to provoke their rivals.

Her National League for Democracy party is expected to win Sunday’s parliamentary elections, defeating the military-backed Union Solidarity Development Party.

In a speech Monday at the NLD headquarters, Suu Kyi said: “It is still a bit early to congratulate our candidates who will be the winners.”

She said, “I want to remind you all that even candidates who didn’t win have to accept the winners but it is important not to provoke the candidates who didn’t win to make them feel bad.”

She said the results won’t be announced soon, “but I think you all have the idea of the results.”

- Esther Htusan in Yangon

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11 a.m.

The former head of Myanmar’s ruling party has conceded defeat in his constituency in the country’s election, becoming the first prominent casualty to Aung San Suu Kyi’s opposition party.

Shwe Mann announced his defeat in a Facebook post Monday morning, as the country awaited official results of the historic polls.

The post said: “Congratulations!” to his opponent from the opposition National League for Democracy party in their central Myanmar constituency. Shwe Mann said he went to his opponent’s home to convey congratulations in person at 6:30 Monday morning.

Shwe Mann is speaker of the lower house of Parliament and former head of the ruling Union Solidarity and Development Party.

He was seen as a reformer in his party’s ranks, and deposed as its chief by the majority, more-pro-military faction loyal to President Thein Sein.

His rejection by the voters, despite his reputation as a moderate, could suggest the depth of support for the opposition NLD.

- Grant Peck in Yangon

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7:25 p.m. Sunday

A co-founder of Aung San Suu Kyi’s opposition party has told a crowd outside the party’s headquarters not to expect results from Myanmar’s historic general election tonight, but that the outcome appears to be “very good.”

Tin Oo thanked the thousands of people waiting outside the National League for Democracy’s headquarters, where giant screens were erected to show vote counting after polls closed Sunday.

He told them: “We won’t be able to announce the result yet. All I can say is that the NLD is in a very good position.”

He said that the 70-year-old Suu Kyi would not come out to speak to the crowd Sunday night and asked supporters to return Monday morning.

Initially, the NLD had said it expected to announce its provisional tally of ballots late Sunday or early Monday. But Tin Oo said announcements would wait until counting was completed.

The Election Commission has not said when final, official results are expected.

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5:30 p.m. Sunday

Crowds are gathering outside the headquarters of Aung San Suu Kyi’s opposition party in Yangon after polls closed in Myanmar’s historic election.

Thousands of people clogged the road late Sunday afternoon and cheered in support of the National League for Democracy, which is expected to win a big victory.

Big screens were erected outside the party headquarters broadcasting TV images of vote counting. Cheers erupted after every vote announced for the NLD.

The opposition party is expected to announce unofficial results late Sunday or early Monday, based on tallies from its massive team of election observers throughout the country.

One woman, 49-year-old Aye Mhu, was among the crowd in front of the NLD’s office. She described her state of mind as excited, ecstatic and happy as she watched the votes being tallied on giant screens.

She said: “I’ve never been this happy in my life. This is the happiest day of my life.”

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4:30 p.m. Sunday

Polls have closed on schedule in Myanmar’s historic general election.

Officials shut the doors of by-now empty polling booths at 4:30 p.m. Sunday. Most people had cast their votes in the morning, well before a heavy downpour beat down in Yangon an hour before voting ended.

The election is seen as the first real chance for democracy to take root in Myanmar. It is expected to be won by Aung San Suu Kyi’s opposition National League for Democracy party.

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