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Myanmar's president vows smooth transition after election defeat

President Thein Sein's Union Solidarity and Development Party won just 40 out of 478 seats in parliament, while Aung San Suu Kyi's opposition party, the National League for Democracy, won 387.

By Fred Lambert
Myanmar's president vows smooth transition after election defeat
Myanmar's President Thein Sein speaks at a summit dialogue on economic reforms in Beijing, China, on Nov. 9, 2014. On Nov. 15, 2015, Sein vowed a smooth transfer of power in Myanmar's government after an opposition party won majority rule in Nov. 8 elections. Pool photo by Jin Liwang/UPI | License Photo

YANGON, Myanmar, Nov. 15 (UPI) -- Myanmar's President Thein Sein promised a smooth transfer of power Sunday after an opposition party won a majority of parliamentary seats in elections last week.

Results of the Nov. 8 elections were released Friday, revealing Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy won 387 seats in parliament, or about 80 percent, while Sein's ruling Union Solidarity and Development Party won 41.

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"We will make sure it will be smooth and stable without having to worry about anything," the BBC quoted Sein as saying.

Sein made similar statements online but publicly asserted them at a meeting of political leaders in Yangon on Sunday. The military has indicated it will abide by the election results.

The election, which comprised 6,040 candidates from 91 political parties and 310 independent runners competing for more than 1,000 parliamentary seats, netted the NLD the two-thirds majority needed to form a ruling coalition. Myanmar's constitution reserves 25 percent of seats in parliament for serving military officers.

The current parliament will remain in place until January, when the new government will take its seats and choose a president, two vice-presidents and a speaker.

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Suu Kyi, who gained prominence after speaking against the military-controlled government in 1988, is not eligible to serve as president due to a clause in Myanmar's constitution that bars those with close foreign relatives from taking the position.

Suu Kyi's sons are British citizens, but she has indicated she will head any NLD-led government from behind the scenes.

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