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Suu Kyi party to decide Myanmar political comeback…Burma’s darling on the political stump again

Suu Kyi: Burma's Beauty stumps on her political quick sand speech

18 November 2011,AFP

YANGON – The opposition party of Myanmar democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi is expected to announce its return to the official political arena on Friday after years of marginalisation by ruling generals.

Senior members of the National League for Democracy (NLD) are to gather in Yangon to decide whether to re-register as a political party, after boycotting elections last year – the first to be held in Myanmar for 20 years.

The NLD won a landslide victory in polls in 1990 but the win was never recognised by the then-ruling junta.

The party refused to take part in last November’s vote mainly because of rules that would have forced it to expel imprisoned members. Suu Kyi was under house arrest at the time.

The Nobel peace prize winner, who has spent most of the last two decades in detention, was released a few days after the polls and now appears to be planning an entrance to the mainstream political process.

“On the whole I think the great majority of our people will go in for re-registration,” 66-year-old Suu Kyi told the BBC on Thursday.

Asked if she was ready to run for office, she said her party would discuss on Friday “as to when we think it is the right time to enter parliament and why we think that time is right”.

NLD spokesman Nyan Win told AFP at the weekend that Suu Kyi was “likely” to participate in a coming by-election. It is not yet clear when the vote will be held, but more than 40 seats are available in parliament’s two chambers.

Analysts say the return of the NLD would add to the legitimacy of the army-backed government, which is seeking to end its global isolation by loosening political shackles – but also increase the relevancy of the popular but long-excluded Suu Kyi.

The 2010 election, widely discredited by outside observers, brought the army’s political proxies to power after decades of outright military rule, but the new government has surprised critics with a number of reformist moves.

It has held direct talks with Suu Kyi, freed some 200 dissidents from jail, froze work on an unpopular mega-dam and passed a law giving workers the right to strike.

As a reward for its conciliatory moves, Myanmar has won Southeast Asia’s backing to chair the region’s bloc in 2014, despite the United States warning that the move was premature.

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