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We won, says Myanmar's opposition

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The opposition is not awaiting the official results of yesterday's by-elections in Myanmar, but has gone ahead to claim an overwhelming victory. 

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Photo by Achara Ashayagachat.

Note: The announcement of official election results may not come for several days.

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Myanmar opposition claims landmark Suu Kyi win

By Hla Hla Htay | AFP

Myanmar's opposition claimed a historic victory on Sunday for pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi in her first bid for a seat in parliament, sparking scenes of jubilation among supporters.

Thousands of people clapped and cheered outside Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy (NLD) headquarters in Yangon after the party announced the Nobel Peace Prize laureate had won a parliamentary seat after by-elections.

Some people danced in the street while others wept with joy at the news, which if confirmed would mark a stunning turnaround for the former political prisoner, who was locked up by the former junta for most of the past 22 years.

"We have been waiting for this day for a long time. I'm so happy," said NLD supporter Kalyar, who goes by one name.

The party claimed it was on course to win all 44 seats it contested in Sunday's by-elections, in which a total of 45 seats were at stake – not enough to threaten the army-backed ruling party's huge majority in parliament.

People line up to vote. ACHARA ASHAYAGACHAT

There was no independent confirmation and official results were expected within a week.

Observers believe Myanmar's new quasi-civilian government wanted Suu Kyi to win a place in parliament to burnish its reform credentials and smooth the way for an easing of Western sanctions.

A European Union official invited to observe the vote hailed "very encouraging" signs at the roughly dozen polling stations her team visited.

The NLD complained of ballot-paper irregularities, notably that wax had been put over the check box for the party, which could be rubbed off the ballot later to cancel the vote.

It was not immediately clear how widespread irregularities were.

"This is happening around the country," NLD spokesman Nyan Win told AFP. "I have sent a complaint letter to the union election commission."

In the run-up to the eagerly awaited vote, the party decried alleged intimidation of candidates and other irregularities, and Suu Kyi said the poll could not be considered "a genuinely free and fair election".

The seats being contested Sunday were made vacant by MPs who joined the government. The next general election is due in 2015.

opposition – of a political party that is not part of the government ฝ่ายค้าน  
claim – to say that something is true although it has not been proved and other people may not believe it อ้าง
landmark – a major event or achievement that marks an important state in a process and makes progress possible  เหตุการณ์ที่เป็นการแสดงถึงความคืบหน้า
historic –  of historical importance ที่สำคัญในประวัติศาสตร์
bid – an attempt to do something ความพยายาม
spark – to make something happen ก่อให้เกิด
jubilation – behaviour that shows you are extremely happy because something good has happened การเฉลิมฉลองด้วยความร่าเริง
headquarters – the place where an organisation or company has its main offices สำนักงานใหญ่ กองบัญชาการ
laureate – someone who has won a prize for their achievements, especially a nobel prize  ผู้ได้รับเกียรติยศ,ผู้ได้รับรางวัลเป็นเกียรติยศ
by-election – an election held to fill an empty seat in parliament  การเลือกตั้งซ่อม
wept (past of weep) – cried because of being unhappy or having some other strong emotion ร้องไห้
joy – a feeling of great happiness ความสุขสันต์,ความสุขสำราญ
mark – to show that something is happening เป็นเครืองแสดง เป็นการเริ่มต้น
stunning – very shocking or impressive  ที่ตระการตา ทำให้ตกใจ
turnaround – a situation in which something changes, usually from bad to good การเปลี่ยนแปลง
junta – a group of military officers that governs a country, usually without having been elected รัฐบาลทหาร
on course – likely to achieve or do something because you have already started to do it
contest – to take part in an election or other competition ลงแข่ง, ลงรับเลือกตั้ง
at stake – able to be gained or lost เสี่ยงเป็นเสี่ยงตาย
threaten – to put at risk; to put in danger ทำให้ตกอยู่ในความเสี่ยง
back – to support สนับสนุน
ruling – having control over a particular group, country, etc ซึ่งมีอำนาจ, ซึ่งปกครอง
majority – more than 50 percent of a group เสียงส่วนใหญ่
independent – done or given by somebody who is not involved in a situation and so is able to judge it fairly อิสระ, ไม่ขึ้นใคร
observer – a person who watches and analyses a situation ผู้สังเกตการณ์
quasi- – partly; almost; that appears to be something but is not really so ดูเหมือน, คล้ายคลึง
civilian – of someone who does not belong to the armed forces or the police พลเรือน
burnish – to polish metal until it is smooth and shiny ขัดเงา,ขัดให้วาว
reform – a change that is intended to correct a situation that is wrong or unfair การแก้ไข การปฏิรูป
credentials – personal qualities, achievements, or experiences that make someone suitable for something คุณสมบัติ,  คุณวุฒิ
smooth the way – to make something possible or easier to be done  ปูทางไว้สำหรับ
ease – to make a problem, situation or pain less severe or serious บรรเทา
sanction – an official order, such as the stopping of trade, which is taken against a country in order to make it obey international law  การคว่ำบาตร
hail – to praise; to say good things about ชื่นชม  
encouraging – creating hope; positive; indicating something good is likely to happen ทําให้ใจมีกําลังขึ้น, ชูใจ
roughly – approximately but not exactly  โดยประมาณ, อย่างคร่าวๆ
complain – to say that you are annoyed, unhappy or not satisfied about somebody/something บ่น, ร้องทุกข์
ballot – the piece of paper on which someone marks who they are voting for บัตรเลือกตั้ง
irregularity – a situation in which the rules, laws, or usual ways of doing things have not been followed การปฏิบัติที่ไม่เป็นไปตามระเบียบปกติ
notably – especially; that which is most noticeable; to a great degree  อย่างน่าสังเกต, อย่างน่าจดจำ
immediately – happening right after something else with no delay; right away ทันที
widespread – happening or existing in many places, or affecting many people อย่างแพร่หลาย
election commission – an independent government agency that oversees elections คณะกรรมการเลือกตั้ง
run-up – a period of time leading up to an important event; the preparation for this
eagerly – wanting very much to do or have something กระตือรือร้น
awaited – waiting for something to happen ที่รอคอย
decry – to strongly criticise somebody/something, especially publicly วิพากษ์วิจารณ์อย่างรุนแรง
alleged – claimed to be true although not yet proven ที่ถูกกล่าวหา
intimidation – deliberately making someone feel frightened, especially so that they will do what you want ขู่ขวัญ
candidate – a person who is trying to be elected ผู้สมัครรับเลือกตั้ง
genuinely – really; sincerely; honestly โดยแท้
vacant – empty ว่าง
due – expected to happen or should happen มีกำหนด

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