Vote—counting after Myanmar’s election at the start of this week is being manipulated, German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle charged in Berlin on Thursday.

The proxy party of the Asian nation’s ruling junta, the Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP), is expected to be declared landslide winner of Sunday’s polls, observers say.

“Even if an official final tally is still not available four days after the polls, we’re obliged to note that there is clear evidence of considerable manipulation to the disadvantage of the democratic opposition during the counting of the votes,” Mr. Westerwelle said.

He said the opposition and parties representing ethnic minorities had been disadvantaged by the poll rules.

“This cannot be called a free, fair and inclusive process,” he said, adding, “Reports that the opposition succeeded in at least a few electoral districts do show that the desire of the Myanmar people for democratic change cannot be permanently suppressed.” He also called for the immediate release from house arrest of leading opposition figure Aung San Suu Kyi.

Her current term of confinement is due to expire on Saturday.

Myanmar’s Supreme Court has rejected her appeal against detention.

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