December 13, 2011 12:19:16 am
Myanmar authorities today gave Aung San Suu Kyi’s opposition party the green light to rejoin mainstream politics,paving the way for the Nobel laureate to run for a seat in the new parliament.
The announcement in state media follows a series of reformist moves by a new military-backed government dominated by former generals,who are now reaching out to political opponents and the West.
Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) was stripped of its status as a legal political party by the junta last year after it chose to boycott a rare election,saying the rules were unfair.
A brief announcement in the official New Light of Myanmar newspaper today said that the country’s election commission had approved the NLD’s application to re-register as a political party.
The country formerly known as Burma has surprised even its critics over the past year — releasing democracy champion Suu Kyi from years of house arrest,holding dialogue with the opposition and freeing some political prisoners.
In one of a number of dramatic developments,Suu Kyi has said she will take part in by-elections expected early next year,although no date has been set.
She voiced guarded hope earlier this month that democracy would come to Myanmar,as she welcomed Hillary Clinton to the home that was her prison for years during a landmark visit by the US Secretary of State.
“I am very confident that if we work together… there will be no turning back from the road to democracy,” Suu Kyi said at the time.
Yesterday her party said it had chosen the image of a fighting peacock gazing at a white star as its new symbol,replacing its trademark bamboo hat,which was used by a breakaway group that participated in the 2010 election.
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