In pictures: Myanmar votes in second election since emerging from military rule

In pictures: Myanmar votes in second election since emerging from military rule

Myanmar vote 1
Myanmar's polls - held amid a worsening COVID-19 pandemic - opened on Nov 8 at 6am local time. (Photo: Naung Kham)

YANGON: Millions of people lined up for hours to cast their ballots on Sunday (Nov 8) after polls opened at 6am in Myanmar for only its second national election since it emerged from outright military rule in 2011. 

On Monday, Aung San Suu Kyi's ruling National League for Democracy (NLD) said it was confident of winning a landslide victory as official results trickled in following the coronavirus-disrupted election. 

Myanmar vote 2
Some polling stations were either too small or drew such large crowds that COVID-19 safe distancing could not be observed. (Photo: Naung Kham)

"We won't only win the 322 seats we need to form a government, but we expect to break our 2015 record of 390," said party spokesman Myo Nyunt. 

In 2015, the NLD won by a landslide but was forced by the constitution into an uneasy power-sharing agreement with the military, which controls three key ministries and a quarter of parliamentary seats. 

READ: Aung San Suu Kyi, the army, insurgency: Myanmar's 2020 election explained

Myanmar vote 3
Some polling stations were either too small or drew such large crowds that COVID-19 safe distancing could not be observed. (Photo: Naung Kham)

The military-aligned USDP opposition, Myanmar's next biggest party, said it was still collecting information and would not comment. 

Aung San Suu Kyi has remained a hero at home in spite of a reputation abroad shattered by the Rohingya crisis. 

Myanmar vote 4
Myanmar authorities have been juggling election preparation and battling COVID-19 for months. (Photo: Naung Kham)

In this election, the civilian leader implored citizens to overcome their fears of COVID-19 to turn out and cast their ballots.

"Every single voter is writing their own history, this election's history and our country's history," she told the nation in a video message posted on Facebook on Thursday. 

Myanmar vote 5
Some polling stations were either too small or drew such large crowds that COVID-19 safe distancing could not be observed. (Photo: Naung Kham)

Myanmar authorities had been juggling election preparation and battling COVID-19 for months. 

At polling stations, most maintained physical distance and donned the compulsory face masks. But there were exceptions, typically at voting centres that were either too small or saw large turnouts. 

Myanmar vote 6
Some polling centres reported voters having to wait for as long as nine hours. (Photo: Naung Kham)

Myanmar vote 7
Aung San Suu Kyi called on the people to overcome their fears of the virus, and to come out and vote. (Photo: Naung Kham)

At some polling centres, voters were reported to have waited as long as nine hours. 

Hours after polls closed, supporters were seen gathering at the NLD headquarters in Yangon. 

Myanmar vote 8
Hours after polls closed, supporters started gathering at NLD's headquarters in Yangon. (Photo: Naung Kham)

Myanmar vote 9
Young and old, NLD supporters filled the streets, chanting and dancing in anticipation of a victory. (Photo: Naung Kham)

Young and old, the supporters filled the streets, chanting and dancing in anticipation of victory for Aung San Suu Kyi and the NLD. 

Neither COVID-19 nor the risk of breaking lockdown rules in Yangon deterred the loyal supporters.

Myanmar vote 10
NLD supporters turned out to cheer for the ruling party despite the COVID-19 risk. (Photo: Naung Kham)

Myanmar vote 10
NLD supporters turned out to cheer for the ruling party despite the COVID-19 risk. (Photo: Naung Kham)

Some told CNA: "To be able to show support to the party, even if I catch COVID-19 while doing so, it is worth it."

Official confirmation of the overall result is not expected for another few days.

Source: CNA/AFP/ec

Bookmark