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Suu Kyi requests meeting with Myanmar president, army chief

With her party on the brink of a landslide victory, Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi has called for reconciliation talks with the country's president. However, pro-democracy supporters remain nervous.

Suu Kyi called for "national reconciliation" talks with Myanmar President Thein Sein as well as the country's powerful army chief on Wednesday as her pro-democracy party continued to make electoral gains.

Amid slow counting after elections for the country's lower house, Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy (NLD) has claimed more than 90 percent of the contested seats declared so far.

"Citizens have expressed their will in the election," Suu Kyi said in letters addressed to President Thein Sein, Commander-in-Chief Min Aung Hlaing and the country's influential parliamentary speaker Shwe Mann.

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"I would like to invite you to discuss national reconciliation next week at a time of your convenience."

Shwe Mann posted on Facebook that he had agreed meeting Suu Kyi "to discuss not only the issues mentioned in the letter but also others."

Suu Kyi, an icon of the pro-democracy movement, garnered tens of thousands of votes to hold on to her own Kawhmu constituency seat. In an interview with the BBC, Suu Kyi said she expected her party to win 75 percent of 330 seats contested in Myanmar's lower house, the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw. Results so far give the NLD 135 out of 149 declared seats.

An EU observer mission has said the historic elections had gone better than expected.

Anxious feeling of déjà-vu

Despite a mood of jubilation, Suu Kyi's supporters remain nervous about how the army might respond to her apparent electoral landslide. The NLD won an election in 1990, only for the army to dismiss the result and launch a crackdown on the pro-democracy movement. Suu Kyi - who spent a total of 15 years detained in her home - remains constitutionally banned from the presidency by the military junta.

Myanmar Wahlen 2015

President Thein Sein has vowed his party and the army will respect the results

Expressing his concern, NLD spokesman Win Tien told reporters the election commission was "delaying intentionally because maybe they want to play a trick or something."

"It doesn't make sense that they are releasing the results piece by piece. It shouldn't be like that," he told reporters after a party meeting at Suu Kyi's house. "They are trying to be crooked."

The former British colony of Burma became independent in 1948 and was renamed Myanmar when the military took over in a 1962 coup. Since 2012, the ruling Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) has presided over a quasi-civilian administration.

Despite the constitutional ban on her becoming president, Suu Kyi has said she intends to rule from "above the president," possibly signaling a plan to use a proxy in the top office. Shwe Mann has been touted as a possible candidate for the role.

rc/jil (AFP, dpa)

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