Suu Kyi says opposition to contest Myanmar general election

Suu Kyi says opposition to contest Myanmar general election
PHOTO: Reuters

NAYPYIDAW, Myanmar - Aung San Suu Kyi on Saturday said her opposition National League for Democracy would participate in a historic general election in Myanmar set for November, the first to be contested by the party in a quarter of a century.

The confirmation comes after Myanmar on Wednesday set November 8 as the day for polls expected to be the most important election in a generation.

"We have decided to take part in the election," Suu Kyi told reporters at a press conference at her residence in the capital Naypyidaw, vowing the party would "amend the constitution" that bars her from the presidency if it wins the polls.

Last month the NLD was defeated in a crucial parliamentary vote aimed at ending the military's effective veto on constitutional change - the first hurdle in the party's campaign to amend a clause barring those with a foreign spouse or children from becoming president. Suu Kyi's sons are British.

But despite the loss the Nobel laureate had vowed not to "back down" from the election and her opposition is tipped to make huge gains at the ballot box if the vote is free and fair.

The NLD won nationwide polls in 1990 by a landslide, while Suu Kyi was under house arrest. But it was prevented from taking power by the military, who had plunged the country into decades of isolation.

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