Suu Kyi `likely` to stand in Myanmar by-election

Last Updated: Saturday, November 12, 2011 - 15:20

Yangon: Myanmar`s democracy icon Aung San Suu
Kyi is likely to contest a by-election in the coming months, a
spokesman for her party said on Saturday, following a change to
party registration laws.

The National League for Democracy (NLD), delisted last
year for boycotting a rare election, will consider on Friday
whether to re-register as a political party, paving the way
for Suu Kyi to return to the official political arena.

"The NLD is likely to register and also Daw Suu is likely
to participate at the coming by-election," Nyan Win, a party
spokesman said. Daw is a term of respect in Myanmar.
It is not yet clear when a by-election will be held, but
there are more than 40 seats available in parliament`s two
chambers.

The NLD won a 1990 election but was never allowed to take
office, and it shunned last year`s vote largely because of
rules that would have forced it to expel imprisoned members.
Suu Kyi was under house arrest at the time.

She was released a few days after last November`s poll,
which was widely condemned as a farce by the West and marred
by claims of cheating, but the new army-backed government has
surprised critics with a series of reformist moves.

These include a recent amendment to a law on political
parties, endorsed by President Thein Sein, which removed the
condition that all parties must agree to "preserve" the
country`s 2008 constitution, according to state media.

A decision to re-register the NLD is widely expected after
100 senior party members gather in Yangon on Friday to discuss
the move.

Nyan Win did not comment on which constituency Suu Kyi
would stand in, or what kind of position she expected, but
party sources said she would contest in a Yangon township.

While Myanmar is now ruled by a nominally civilian
government, its ranks are filled with former generals.

Suu Kyi -- who strongly criticised the constitution, part
of what the regime called its "road map to democracy" -- is
expected to hold a press conference on Monday to mark the
first anniversary of her release.

PTI



First Published: Saturday, November 12, 2011 - 15:20

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