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Suu Kyi wins seat in historic Myanmar election

Nyein Chan Naing / EPA

Aung San Suu Kyi is kissed by a voter as she visits a polling station to observe voting in her constituency of Kawmhu township in parliamentary by-elections in Myanmar, April 1. Voters lining up to vote flocked to greet the democracy icon running for her National League for Democracy (NLD) party.

"Daw Aung San Suu Kyi has won. The NLD candidate has taken the Kawhmu constituency," an NLD official announced to cheers from hundreds of supporters, referring to Suu Kyi by her honorific title.

Suu Kyi, who has spent a total of 15 years in detention since 1989, was contesting an election for the first time following her party's decision to end its boycott of a political system dominated by serving or retired military.

The by-elections - only the country's third in half a century - are a crucial test of reforms that could convince the West to end sanctions and its pariah image.

-- Reported by msnbc.com staff and news services

Altaf Qadri / AP

Election officials work inside a poorly lit polling station early morning before starting balloting in Wah Thin Kha, Myanmar, April 1. Myanmar held a landmark election Sunday that was expected to send democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi into parliament for her first public office since launching her decades-long struggle against the military-dominated government.

Damir Sagolj / Reuters

Supporters celebrate as some results are shown on the screen in front of Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy head office in Yangon, April 1.

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