Burmese ex-military men win seats, opposition does well in Rangoon


Rangoon - Ex-military officers won seats in Burma's polls over the weekend as expected, but a key opposition party fared better than anticipated in Rangoon, sources said Monday.
Burma held its first general election in 20 years on Sunday, amid sharp criticism from Western democracies that the process was not free, fair or inclusive.
Pundits predicted the well-financed, pro-junta Union Solidarity and Development Party, which is packed with military men and government ministers, would win the most seats.
Key party leaders including former generals Shwe Mann and Tin Aung Myint Oo, and Prime Minister Thein Sein, Foreign Minister Nyan Win and a several other ministers, won parliamentary seats, said one official who asked to remain anonymous.
They ran mostly in Naypyitaw, the military's new capital, 350 kilometres north of Rangoon.
In Rangoon, which was more hotly contested, Deputy Health Minister Paing Soe lost.
Initial vote tallies Monday suggested the pro-democracy National Democratic Force (NDF), a breakaway from the main opposition National League for Democracy headed by Nobel peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, could win up to 18 of the 37 contested seats for the lower house in Rangoon, the former capital.
The election was for 1,159 seats in three houses of parliament: upper, lower and the regions/states chamber. As of midday Monday, the NDF had won three seats in the upper house, eight in the lower house and four in the regions/states chamber in Yangon, according to an official tally. //DPA

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