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LinkAsia | Feb 11
Foreign direct investment, primarily from China and South Korea, has flooded Myanmar since the country began to open up and enact broad reforms two...
In Myanmar, Nobel Peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi is running for parliament, and actively campaigning for other members of her party, who are also vying for 48 seats in the April 1st by-elections. This is in sharp contrast to a year ago, when she was under house arrest. MBC reports that it’s yet another sign that the military government is moving forward with reform.
Aung San Suu Kyi, the leader of the democratic movement in Myanmar, attracts crowds of people to her campaign rallies. Suu Kyi encourages people to vote and appeals for their support, saying that an election in Myanmar is a rare event.
Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi:
When people power takes hold in the entire country, we can establish true democracy.
Myanmar will hold by-elections for 48 parliamentary seats on April 1st. Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy Party is contesting all 48 seats.
In 2010, when Myanmar had general elections for the first time in 20 years, the election law blocked Suu Kyi from taking part. Her party objected to the law and boycotted the elections.
Even if Suu Kyi wins the coming elections, it will be hard to keep the ruling party in check, because they already hold a majority of the seats. But considering her influence on the people, Suu Kyi will be the major figure opposing the military regime.
Meanwhile, the US and EU have decided to partially lift sanctions against Myanmar as the military regime proceeds with democratic reforms. So Myanmar can expect economic support from the international community.
Suu Kyi's ability to attract huge crowds of people during her campaign rallies has made the Burmese government nervous. And recently she was unable to secure a stadium for a rally in Mandalay, Myanmar’s second largest city. Mandalay was the site of the 2007 Saffron Revolution when Buddhist monks led an anti-government uprising.