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Suu Kyi Says NLD Not Yet Committed to 2015 Election

Opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi speaks during a press conference at the headquarters of the National League for Democracy in Rangoon on Tuesday. (Photo: JPaing / The Irrawaddy)

By Kyaw Phyo Tha
The Irrawaddy
December 30, 2014

RANGOON — Burma’s opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi has indicated that it’s too early to say whether her party will contest national elections slated for late next year, when the Southeast Asian country expects to hold its first democratic poll in more than two decades.

“When they officially announce the exact date for the general election, we will tell you whether we will join it or not. But for now we can’t reveal this,” said she during a press conference at the headquarters of her National League for Democracy (NLD) party on Tuesday.

“We have no idea about the rules and regulations of the elections so far. We have to wait for them and decide,” she said, adding that the Burmese public would have to work together to ensure that the elections are inclusive, transparent and fair.

“And that they are held on time, on schedule,” she said.

The Union Election Commission chairman, Tin Aye, has said that Burma will see general elections held in the last week of October or the first week of November.

During an hour-long press conference, Suu Kyi said that for the “great majority” of Burmese people, the last year had not brought improvements to their lives.

“I don’t think 2014 is exactly the kind of year that you can be particularly proud of. We have to work a lot harder in 2015,” the democracy leader added.

With regard to the controversial Letpadaung copper mine project, she referred to a report published by a parliamentary commission she led, saying “the report was prepared in the interests of both parties.”

The mine was the site of a fatal shooting last week after protesting villagers clashed with police over efforts by the project’s operators to fence in disputed lands.

“If you strictly follow the suggestions in the report, I believe everything will be alright. But I think they failed to follow them so that they have problems,” she explained.

Asked about four interfaith draft bills, which have been widely panned by human rights and women’s groups and are likely to be discussed in Parliament next month, Suu Kyi said the NLD’s legal support team and parliamentarians would thoroughly review the legislation.

“After that we will release an assessment. I can’t give comments on them recklessly as they are complicated and sensitive.”

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