2011-11-18 13:20:21

Aung San Suu Kyi to stand for election in Burma

The leader of Burma’s pro-democracy movement, Aung San Suu Kyi, has said she will be a candidate in upcoming elections. Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy voted unanimously to register the party, which had been dissolved last year by the military regime then in power.

Burma, called Myanmar by its military backed government, has been taking steps to improve relations with the international community. Earlier this week, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) voted to allow Myanmar to take chair of its 2014 summit meeting. And on Friday, U.S. president Barack Obama, after consultations with Suu Kyi, announced that he would send Secretary of State Hilary Clinton to the country within the next month.

The decision for Suu Kyi to stand for election is significant. “This is a big shift in strategy for Aung San Suu Kyi,” said Burma Campaign for UK Director Mark Farminer. “She now seems to feel that there is an opportunity in parliament to use it as a platform to promote further reforms”.

“What’s important now is that the international community doesn’t say ‘OK, that’s fine, she’s in parliament now, problem solved,” he said. “Because you still have an increase in human rights abuses there. There’s a long way from any genuine reforms and democracy”

Listen to Mark Farminer speaking to Christopher Wells about all of the recent developments in Burma: RealAudioMP3

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