VOA Burmese Blog

September 27, 2010

Burmese Officials Indicate Suu Kyi Can Vote in Poll

– VOA News

AP photo: Burmese pro-democracy leader, Aung San Suu Kyi

Burmese officials have added the name of imprisoned opposition leader Aung Sang Suu Kyi to a supplementary voters’ list, meaning she will be allowed to vote in elections on November 7.

The Nobel Peace Prize laureate had been left off the list when it was first published on Monday.

That was in line with election rules that prohibit convicted prisoners from participating in the country’s first election in 20 years. But the decision prompted a wave of critical attention from international media.

A government official said Friday that Aung San Suu Kyi, whose current term of house arrest is due to expire later in November, will not be allowed to go outside on election day. But he suggested that authorities might take a ballot to her.

Aung San Suu Kyi still is prohibited from being a candidate. Her National League for Democracy party was effectively dissolved earlier this year after refusing to register for the elections, which it says are unfair.

The November 7 vote will elect 498 people to a national Parliament and another 664 will be spread among 14 regional legislatures.

Opposition parties say they have not been able to enter as many candidates as they want because of restrictive election laws and high registration fees.

The National Democratic Force, made up of former members of the NLD, says it will only be able to present about 140 candidates compared to the military-backed Union Solidarity and Development Party, which will have candidates for all 1,162 seats.

Critics say the election is a sham and that the military shows little sign of giving up control.

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