Suu Kyi gets green light for parliament

2012-02-06 12:45
Yangon - Myanmar's Election Commission on Monday gave opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi the green light to run for parliamentary by-elections, another step toward political openness in a country emerging from nearly a half-century of iron-fisted military rule.

Suu Kyi announced her intention last month to run in the April elections but was waiting for official approval from the commission, which said it had to scrutinise her eligibility.

A spokesperson for Suu Kyi's party said the commission approved her candidacy and would make a formal announcement later on Monday. "There is no objection to her nomination and we can say that her candidacy is officially accepted," Nyan Win said.

A nominally civilian government took office last March. The new government has surprised even some of the country's toughest critics by releasing hundreds of political prisoners, signing cease-fire deals with ethnic rebels, increasing media freedoms and easing censorship laws.

Myanmar's government hopes the rapid changes will prompt the West to lift economic sanctions that were imposed on the country during the military junta's rule.

Western governments and the United Nations have said they will review the sanctions only after gauging whether the April polls are carried out freely and fairly.

Minimal power

The April election is being held to fill 48 parliamentary seats vacated by lawmakers who were appointed to the Cabinet and other posts.

Even if Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy party wins all 48 seats, it will have minimal power. The 440-seat lower house of Parliament is heavily weighted with military appointees and allies of the former junta.

But a victory would be historic for Suu Kyi, a Nobel Peace laureate who spent most of the last two decades under house arrest. She would have a voice in Parliament for the first time after decades as the country's opposition leader.

Her party won a sweeping victory in the 1990 general election but the junta refused to honour the results.

Suu Kyi will run for a seat representing Kawhmu, a poor district south of Yangon where villagers' livelihoods were devastated by Cyclone Nargis in 2008.

Read more on:    aung san suu kyi  |  myanmar

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.