Myanmar’s Suu Kyi adds name to ballot ahead of November legislative elections

Yangon, Myanmar, Aug 4 (efe-epa).- Myanmar’s de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi on Tuesday formalized her candidacy for the upcoming 8 November legislative elections.

Wearing a mask and gloves, the Nobel Peace Prize laureate traveled to the office of the electoral commission in the outskirts of Yangon, the former capital, to register her name on the ballot.

Dozens of supporters turned up to greet the domestically-popular politician with placards wishing her good health.

The leader of the National League for Democracy will contest in the constituency of Kawhmu, located 50 kilometers to the south of Yangon, the largest city in the country.

She previously ran in the constituency in the country’s first truly free elections in 2015, securing a landslide victory.

The LND said the country’s current president Win Myint will also run in the elections.

Suu Kyi, 75, is currently the state counsellor, a post that was created for her and effectively means she acts as a prime minister with powers that exceed the presidency. She is also the foreign affairs minister.

The post was created to circumnavigate a constitutional clause that prevents people with close foreign relatives from running for the presidency.

Suu Kyi’s late husband was British as are her two children.

The NLD is a clear favorite in the elections and Suu Kyi is expected to lead the next government.

There are 1,117 candidates running in the vote, which affects the lower and upper chambers of parliament.

It will be the third set of elections to be held since the Burmese Army opted to transition from a military dictatorship towards partial democracy, a process that started in 2010.

The military still wields power in the country, and a quarter of parliamentary seats are reserved for MPs appointed directly by the commander-in-chief.

Suu Kyi has come under intense scrutiny from the international community given her support for the military in its 2017 clampdown on the mainly Muslim Rohingya minority in the country’s western Rakhine state.

The Burmese army has been accused of genocide by the International Criminal Court at the Hague.

Suu Kyi defended the military actions at the Hague last year and remains popular in her home country. EFE-EPA


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