Burma vote 'not free and fair': Suu Kyi

Supporters shake hands with Burma pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi on the campaign trail. [Reuters]

Supporters shake hands with Burma pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi on the campaign trail. [Reuters]

VIDEO from Australia Network News

Burma by-elections

Created: 30/03/2012

VIDEO from Australia Network News

South East Asia correspondant Zoe Daniel reports from Rangoon

Created: 30/03/2012

South East Asia correspondent Zoe Daniel

Last Updated: Sat, 31 Mar 2012 00:11:00 +1100

Burmese democracy leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, has warned that the lead-up to this weekend's by-elections have not been free and fair.

She says the level of irregularities has already gone beyond what is acceptable in a democratic election.

At a press conference at her home Ms Suu Kyi told hundreds of journalists and observers that opposition campaigning has been restricted and some candidates have been intimidated.

"I don't think we can consider it a genuine free and fair election if we consider what has been happening here over the last few months," she said.

But she says the campaign has allowed her National League for Democracy to raise community awareness of politics.

She has urged observers to be allowed in to monitor Sunday's by-elections to be aware that the lead-up should be just as important as the actual day of polling.

She insists the elections are a step in the right direction and are helping to raise political awareness throughout the country.

This is the first election Ms Suu Kyi has been allowed to take part in since the military over-ruled her 1990 victory at the polls.

The opposition leader has been unwell in recent weeks and says she's feeling a little delicate, but can handle a future in politics.

During the press conference Ms Suu Kyi quashed suggestions she might be persuaded to take on a ministerial post in the military-backed government if she wins a seat at the elections.

Under the constitution government ministers must surrender their seats in parliament.

"I have no intention of leaving the parliament to which I have tried so hard to get into," she said.


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