Suu Kyi Wins Parliament Seat
Unofficial count gives democracy icon 65% of vote in her constituency
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 1, 2012 5:45 AM CDT
Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi is surrounded by supporters and journalists as she visits a polling station in the constituency where she stands as a candidate in Kawhmu on April 1, 2012.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – Aung San Suu Kyi's party says she has won a seat in Burma's parliament in today's landmark election, setting the stage for the pro-democracy icon to hold public office for the first time. The victory, if confirmed, marks a major milestone in the Southeast Asian nation, where the military has ruled almost exclusively for a half-century and where the government is now seeking legitimacy and a lifting of Western sanctions.

The victory claim was displayed on a digital signboard above the opposition National League for Democracy's headquarters in Burma's main city, Yangon. Earlier, the party said in unofficial figures that Suu Kyi was ahead with 65% of the vote in 82 of her constituency's 129 polling stations. Suu Kyi had earlier pulled off the campaign trail claiming fatigue, then accused the government of interfering with the election.