Burma’s Aung San Suu Kyi Registers Party, Visits Parliament

Posted December 23rd, 2011 at 10:50 am (UTC-5)
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Burma's democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi formally registered her National League for Democracy as a political party Friday, clearing the way for her to run for a seat in parliament.

Party officials say they will contest a series of coming by-elections once the registration is formally approved, expected within a week. Aung San Suu Kyi has not yet announced the constituency in which she expects to run.

The Nobel peace laureate also visited the parliament for the first time since her release from house arrest late last year. She met with Shwe Mann, a senior figure in the military-backed government and the long-ruling junta that preceded it.

The NLD was stripped of its status as a party last year because it refused to participate in controversial national elections, in which the popular democracy advocate was not permitted to run.

The election produced a new government which, while still dominated by past and present military officers, has implemented a series of reforms including loosened press restrictions and the beginning of dialogue with its critics.

Parliament officials were quoted Friday as saying they welcome Aung San Suu Kyi's return to the political arena.

Aung San Suu Kyi and her NLD were overwhelming winners in Burma's 1990 election, but were never permitted to take office. The party leader spent most of the years since then under house arrest.