Suu Kyi Vies for Seat in Myanmar Vote
Myanmar dissident Aung San Suu Kyi
faces voters for the first time today in by-elections the U.S.
and European nations are watching closely as they consider
lifting sanctions against the former dictatorship.
Suu Kyi, who won the Nobel peace prize during her 15 years
under house arrest, is among those standing for 43 of 664
parliamentary seats left vacant by lawmakers who joined
President Thein Sein’s government. She said two days ago her
National League for Democracy party would tolerate
irregularities in the first vote it’s contesting since 1990.
“I believe she can lead the country to democracy,” Hlya
Myint, a firewood seller who is volunteering for Suu Kyi’s party
in the district where she’s on the ballot. “If there is
democracy, the country will become rich. If the country becomes
rich, I won’t be so poor.”
Moves toward greater political freedom in the nation of 64
million people bordering China and India have prompted Western
nations to consider easing sanctions as companies from General
Electric Co. to Standard Chartered Plc (STAN) await opportunities to
invest. At stake for Thein Sein is dismantling a legacy of six
decades of isolation that left Myanmar with per capita gross
domestic product of just 14 percent of neighbor Thailand’s.
Suu Kyi, 66, spent last night in a village of 1,400 people
in Kawhmu district about an hour’s drive south of Yangon, the
country’s biggest city. Hundreds of residents yesterday lined a
dirt road heading to the village to get a glimpse of the
daughter of a Myanmar independence hero.
“Don’t forget to vote tomorrow,” she told a crowd of
several thousand people who chanted her name and “NLD – We Must
Win” as she stood on a balcony at the house where she was
staying. “Don’t miss this chance. If the people vote for me I
will come here often and I will try to develop the region.”
Known in Myanmar simply as “The Lady,” Suu Kyi emerged on
Myanmar’s political scene in 1988, when she returned to the
country to care for her ailing mother after years of living
You can read the rest of this article at:: http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-03-31/suu-kyi-vies-for-seat-in-myanmar-vote-with-sanctions-in-balance
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