Myanmar’s ruling party conceded defeat in a general election on Monday as the opposition led by democracy figurehead Aung San Suu Kyi appeared on course for a landslide victory that could ensure it forms the next government.

“We lost,” Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) acting chairman Htay Oo told Reuters a day after the Southeast Asian country’s first free nationwide election in a quarter of a century.

By late afternoon, vendors outside the headquarters of the National League for Democracy (NLD) in Yangon were selling red T-shirts with Suu Kyi’s face and the words “We won”.

The election commission later began announcing constituency-by-constituency results from Sunday’s poll. All of the first 12 parliamentary seats announced were won by Suu Kyi’s party.

The keenly watched vote was Myanmar’s first general election since its long-ruling military ceded power to President Thein Sein’s quasi-civilian government in 2011, ushering in a period of reform and opening up to foreign investment.

 

 

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