Myanmar sets April by-elections, Suu Kyi set to run
Yangon: Myanmar set parliamentary by-elections for April 1, scheduling a highly anticipated vote that will return pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi`s party to mainstream politics after two decades.
Before state media reported the date late Friday, Suu Kyi and her National League for Democracy had said they planned to run in every seat in the by-election.
Her party boycotted last year`s general elections because of restrictive rules that among other things prevented Suu Kyi from being a candidate. The government has since lifted many of those restrictions.
Most of the 48 Parliament seats being contested were vacated by MPs who became Cabinet ministers after the first parliamentary session in January.
The military is guaranteed 110 seats in the 440-seat lower house, and 56 seats in the 224-seat upper house, and the pro-military party now occupies 80 percent of the remaining 498 elected seats, so the 48 seats up for grabs, even if the NLD wins them all, will not change the balance of power.
The official announcement said political parties that will contest in the by-election must submit their candidate list by Jan 31.
The NLD reregistered as a political party on Dec 23.
Allowing Suu Kyi`s party back into the political fold will likely give the government greater legitimacy at home and abroad.
The by-elections will also be a test of the popularity of the NLD, and Suu Kyi has cautioned that "the road ahead is full of difficulties and the road to democracy is endless."
The NLD won an overwhelming majority in elections in May 1990, but the results were ignored by the military government in power at that time.
Last year`s elections were the first since 1990, but Suu Kyi was under house arrest and disqualified as a candidate.
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- Over 60 cadets killed in Pakistan police academy attack
- DNA: Exclusive report on the extreme sacrifices made by ITBP soldiers
- Watch: PM Narendra Modi's ''progressive'' remark on triple talaq
- DNA: Terrorists' new strategy of snatching weapons from Indian security personnel
- Panel discussion over delayed development in Ayodhya
- Explosion in Delhi's Naya Bazar, one killed; anti-terror wing, Special cell at spot
- WATCH: Akhilesh Yadav's emotional speech revealing the real reason behind Samajwadi Party crisis; he was about to cry
- Read letters by Ratan Tata to PM Narendra Modi and Group employees after Cyrus Mistry's ouster
- Prompt action on border pushes Pak to offer olive branch, says both sides need to 'formalise' 2003 ceasefire
- India vs New Zealand: Awestruck Kiwis witness MS Dhoni driving his Hummer in Ranchi, and photo goes viral