Myanmar democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi said Saturday that her National League for Democracy party will participate in the country’s general elections in November. The opposition party’s participation reaffirms that the vote, scheduled to take place Nov. 8, would be the most inclusive in decades, and legitimizes the Myanmar government’s effort to ensure a free and fair election. Speaking to reporters at a news conference in Myanmar’s capital of Naypyitaw, Ms. Suu Kyi said her party would run candidates for seats in most of the available constituencies. The NLD, a party that rose to prominence in pro-democracy uprisings against the former military junta, won by a landslide in elections in 1990, but was forbidden from forming a government. Party members were thrown into prison, and Ms. Suu Kyi was put under house arrest.
The party boycotted the vote in 2010 because most of its prominent members couldn’t stand for election.
Though the NLD, under Myanmar’s nominally civilian-controlled government that took power in 2011, has enjoyed unprecedented freedoms to organize and has representatives in the country’s legislature, it will still face a crucial hurdle ahead of the election: Ms. Suu Kyi herself continues to be barred from the presidency.
Myanmar’s constitution, drafted by the military, includes a clause barring anyone with foreign family members from becoming president. It is widely thought to have been written specifically for Ms. Suu Kyi, who was married to a Briton until his death in 1999 and whose two sons are foreign nationals.
Full Article: Myanmar’s Suu Kyi Says Her Party Will Run in Elections – WSJ.