ANKARA

Turkey on Tuesday decried the disenfranchisement of Rohingya Muslim minority in Myanmar’s national elections held on Sunday.

Noting that the general elections constitute “an important milestone” in Myanmar’s democracy and reform process, Turkish Foreign Ministry said: “Nevertheless, the disenfranchisement of the Rohingya Muslims and rejection of the candidacies of many Muslims indicate a serious deficiency in terms of the inclusiveness of the elections.”

“We wish that the new Government will take steps to rectify these shortcomings and ensure the strengthening of democratic institutions as well as democratic principles and practices including unimpeded representation,” the statement added.

The Southeast Asian nation of 54 million held general elections on Sunday, the second time since the 50-year-long military rule ended in 2011.

A total of 5,643 candidates representing more than 90 parties contested for 1,171 national, state, and regional seats.

Earlier on Tuesday, Myanmar’s State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi’s party claimed it has secured a landslide victory in Sunday’s elections.

The ruling National League for Democracy (NLD) party claimed it has so far won 392 seats in the 642-member national legislature.

The Union Election Commission is expected to announce the official results at a news conference scheduled for Wednesday.

Suu Kyi has been criticized for turning a blind eye to the genocide of the Rohingya minority in the country’s western Rakhine state by the military.

Along with the Rohingya, who were denied voting rights ahead of the 2015 polls, voting was also cancelled in large parts of states including Rakhine, Shan and Kachin due to “security concerns.”

More than 740,000 Rohingya fled Myanmar into neighboring Bangladesh in 2016 and 2017 as the military unleashed a series of atrocities which saw entire villages being burned down, extrajudicial killings, and rape.

The UN has called it a campaign which had “genocidal intent.”

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