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Suu Kyi files to run for Myanmar parliament by-elections

The Sydney News.Net
Wednesday 18th January, 2012

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Suu Kyi files to run for Myanmar parliament by-elections
YANGON - Cheered by hundreds of supporters, Myanmar democracy activist Aung San Suu Kyi Wednesday registered to run for a parliamentary seat in the by-elections scheduled for April 1.

Suu Kyi, the chief of the National League for Democracy (NLD), will contest for a seat in Kawhmu, southwest of Yangon, in by polls.

Her party boycotted the last elections but has now rejoined the political process amid reforms in Myanmar which the Western governments have applauded.

The US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton travelled to the country last month - the first top American diplomat in the nation in more than five decades.

The by-election will fill 48 parliamentary seats left vacant when cabinet members assumed their ministerial posts.

The NLD plans to contest more than 40 seats in the event that is being seen as a key test of the military-backed government's reformist credentials.

The move to participate in the elections by the Nobel Peace Prize winner comes after the regime pledged to pursue a peace deal with ethnic rebel groups and pardoned hundreds of political prisoners as part of national reconciliation.

Suu Kyi earlier this month met with William Hague, the first British foreign secretary to visit Myanmar in more than 50 years.

Myanmar has been ruled by a military junta since 1962. But the military rulers have been loosening their grip on the country after global criticism for their human rights record.

Suu Kyi was under house arrest in 1990 when her party won the election by a landslide, but the military junta rejected the poll results.

She was released in November 2010 after spending most of the past 20 years under house arrest or in prison. Her release came days after the nation's first election in two decades.
 

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