Suu Kyi party launches comeback

2011-11-25 08:40

kalahari.com

Naypyidaw - Democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi's opposition began its formal return to mainstream Myanmar politics on Friday as it applied to re-register as a political party, paving the way for her to run in elections.

The National League for Democracy (NLD) announced a week ago it would seek to sign up as a party again - after boycotting last year's parliamentary poll - amid signs of reform in a country long dominated by the military.

Party officials have indicated that the 66-year-old Suu Kyi herself is likely to stand in upcoming by-elections, where 48 seats will be up for grabs, though she has yet to confirm this and no date has been set for a vote.

The NLD filed papers at the national electoral commission in the capital Naypyidaw on Friday morning, according to an AFP journalist at the scene.

The first step

The commission is expected to take at least a week to approve the application, after which the NLD will need to return with two of its leaders to complete the process.

"We are very glad because this is the first step to re-registration. For the next step, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi needs to come to the electoral commission office herself," NLD spokesperson Nyan Win, who led the delegation, told AFP. Daw is a term of respect.

The NLD gave the electoral commission the names of 21 party founders, including Suu Kyi.

Friday's application was a low-key affair, with only six NLD representatives in attendance. Access to the remote capital is strictly controlled and no party supporters were present.

No decision has yet been made on a new NLD symbol, after the party abandoned its traditional bamboo hat logo.

Reformist moves

After decades of outright military rule, a much-criticised election in November last year - Myanmar's first in 20 years - brought a nominally civilian government to power, albeit one dominated by the army and its proxies.

The new administration has surprised many observers with a series of reformist moves, including holding talks with Suu Kyi, passing a law giving workers the right to strike and releasing hundreds of political prisoners.

The NLD boycotted last year's election mainly because of rules that would have forced it to expel imprisoned members. Suu Kyi was under house arrest at the time.

The party's decision last Friday to end its boycott came on the same day the military-dominated government received a dramatic seal of approval from the United States for its nascent reforms.

After speaking directly to Nobel laureate Suu Kyi for the first time, President Barack Obama said Hillary Clinton would visit Myanmar next week - the first US secretary of state to do so in 50 years.

Obama said Clinton's trip was designed to stoke "flickers" of democratic reform in a country that for decades has been blighted by military rule and international isolation.

Diplomatic coup

In another diplomatic coup last week, Myanmar also won approval from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations to chair the 10-nation bloc in 2014.

The NLD won a landslide victory in polls in 1990 but the then-ruling junta never allowed the party to take power. Suu Kyi, although a figurehead for the campaign, was under house arrest at the time.

Myanmar President Thein Sein - a former general - told a small group of Myanmar journalists in Indonesia on Saturday that he was happy about the NLD's plans to re-enter mainstream politics and would welcome Suu Kyi to parliament.

Analysts say the return of the NLD will add to the legitimacy of the army-backed government, which is seeking to end its global isolation -but would also increase the relevance of the popular but long-excluded Suu Kyi.

After spending 15 of the past 22 years in detention, Suu Kyi told her party last week that they should contest all the seats available in the by-elections.

- SAPA
Read more on:    hillary clinton  |  thein sein  |  barack obama  |  aung san suu kyi  |  myanmar
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

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
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
Traffic & Train Alerts
Traffic
Montague Gardens 18:07 PM
Road name: Montague Drive

ROADWORKS - lane closures both directions for BRT lane construction - expect delays

Kuils River 18:05 PM
Road name: Polkadraai Road Eastbound

ROADWORKS between the R102 Van Riebeeck Road and the R310 Baden Powell Drive exit - expect delays

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Up to 60% off - clearance sale!

Save up to 60% on appliances, books, electronics, toys, movies and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Deal of the Week!

Get bestselling John Green novels now just R99 each! Hurry and get yours while stocks last. Shop here.

Mind blowing deals on beauty & fragrances

Save up to 30% off beauty and fragrances. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 50% off hair care products!

Save up to 50% on professional hair care products at kalahari.com. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off academic books

Score a mind blowing 30% off academic books! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Social media is pulling you in and you have the desire to find out everything you know about your friends and you have the urge to...read more

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.