Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

THE INTERVIEW

Simon Serfaty, US foreign policy specialist

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'It's a War, Stupid!'

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

French PM calls on ECB to go further to help economy

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'I love the Socialists'

Read more

WEB NEWS

Ukraine: Web users call for international assistance

Read more

WEB NEWS

France: Fighting political corruption with transparency

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

No strategy and a beige suit

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

South Africa: Four men found guilty of shooting Rwandan exile

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - August 29th, 2014

Read more

  • Ukrainian forces retreat from Luhansk airport after clashes

    Read more

  • Iraqi forces free Armeli in biggest victory over IS militants since June

    Read more

  • Anti-government protesters storm Pakistan's state TV

    Read more

  • Putin calls for talks on 'statehood' for east Ukraine

    Read more

  • Poland marks 75 years since German invasion of WWII

    Read more

  • Israel appropriates large tracts of West Bank land

    Read more

  • Teddy Riner, France’s unstoppable judo champion

    Read more

  • Rescue efforts under way after French apartment block blast

    Read more

  • Web doc on French self-immolation protests takes top prize

    Read more

  • PSG trounce Saint-Etienne 5-0 with Ibrahimovic hat trick

    Read more

  • Tension rises in Hong Kong as Beijing rejects open elections

    Read more

  • French police stop 'teenage jihadist' from flying to Syria

    Read more

  • Kidnapped Yazidi women 'sold to Islamists' in Syria

    Read more

  • Confusion reigns after Lesotho 'coup'

    Read more

  • French PM vows to safeguard 35-hour work week

    Read more

  • Inside Novoazovsk – the pro-Russians' latest conquest

    Read more

Asia-pacific

Suu Kyi warns of irregularities in Burma legislative vote

Video by Jade BARKER

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2012-03-31

Burmese opposition leader and parliamentary candidate Aung San Suu Kyi warned on Friday of campaign irregularities in the country's upcoming parliamentary ballot, saying it was "really beyond what's acceptable in a democratic election".

AFP - Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi said Friday that campaign irregularities threatened the fairness of upcoming elections, sounding a note of caution over her bid for a seat in parliament.

The Nobel laureate, who spent most of the past 22 years as a political prisoner, complained of a series of problems, including "many, many cases of intimidation" as well as the vandalism of signboards.

"I don't think we can consider it a genuine free and fair election if we consider what has been happening here over the last few months," the democracy icon told a news conference ahead of Sunday's by-elections.

The irregularities are "really beyond what's acceptable in a democratic election", she added. "Still, we are determined to go forward because this is what our people want."

The National League for Democracy (NLD) leader said the polls were boosting people's interest in politics in the country formerly known as Burma after decades of outright military rule ended last year.

"It is the rising political awareness of our people that we regard as our greatest triumph," she said. "We don't at all regret having taken part."

The polls mark the first time that Suu Kyi is standing for a seat in parliament, and she has drawn huge crowds on the campaign trail.

Experts believe the regime wants the pro-democracy leader to win a seat in a parliament dominated by the army and its political allies to burnish its reform credentials and encourage an end to Western sanctions.

But Suu Kyi said that she had no plan to accept a position as minister in the army-backed government if offered because under the constitution she would be required to give up her seat in parliament.

"I have no intention of leaving the parliament to which I have tried so hard to get into," she said. But she indicated that she might be willing to take on some kind of non-ministerial role.

The NLD won a landslide election victory in 1990 but was never allowed to take office.

A 2010 election that swept the army's political proxies to power was marred by complaints of cheating and intimidation, as well as the exclusion of Suu Kyi, who was released from years of house arrest just days later.

The NLD has also complained about what it described as "unfair treatment" by the authorities ahead of Sunday's vote.

The party said that people in one village were forced by the ruling Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) to attend one of its meetings.

It complained that it was not allowed to use suitable venues for campaign rallies, while in the constituency where Suu Kyi is standing, the names of hundreds of dead people were found on the electoral roll.

President Thein Sein acknowledged in a recent speech that there had been "unnecessary errors" in ballot lists, but said the authorities were trying to ensure the by-elections would be free and fair.

Since taking office a year ago, Thein Sein has carried out reforms including releasing hundreds of political prisoners, easing media restrictions and welcoming the opposition back into mainstream politics.

Unlike in 2010, the government has invited foreign observers and journalists to witness a vote seen as a major test of its reform credentials.

The 45 seats at stake in Sunday's vote are not enough to threaten the ruling party's overwhelming majority in parliament but Suu Kyi described the vote as "a step towards step one in democracy".

She added: "Our opinion is that once we get into parliament we will be able to work towards genuine democratisation."

A gruelling schedule of rallies and speeches has taken its toll on the health of the opposition leader, who cancelled campaigning this week after she fell ill and was put on a drip during a trip to the south.

"I've not been well recently and I'm feeling a little delicate so any difficult questions and I shall faint straight away," she joked to the hundreds of journalists and diplomats who crammed into the grounds of the crumbling lakeside mansion where she was locked up by the junta until 2010.

 

Date created : 2012-03-30

  • BURMA

    Activist Buddhist monk faces legal action in Burma

    Read more

  • BURMA

    Suu Kyi cheered along campaign trail

    Read more

  • BURMA

    Burma's Suu Kyi launches campaign ahead of April vote

    Read more

COMMENT(S)