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Suu Kyi 'opposes election role for her party'

Aung San Suu Kyi (file image)
Ms Suu Kyi is not expected to be freed in time for the elections

Burma's detained pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi opposes her party registering for forthcoming elections, her lawyer has said.

Nyan Win said Ms Suu Kyi told him the National League for Democracy (NLD) should "not even think" of taking part under what she called unjust laws.

Burma's leaders say they will hold the first polls in two decades this year.

They recently enacted election laws which prevent key figures - including Ms Suu Kyi - from taking part.

This whole process is not free or just, it is carefully scrutinised by the military and choreographed by the generals - what the elections will achieve is thug-o-cracy
Sam

The laws have been widely criticised. The US called them a setback for political dialogue in the country.

The NLD is due to meet on 29 March to decide whether to participate in the polls - for which no date has yet been set.

Leaders excluded

The NLD won the last elections in 1990 but was never allowed to take power. Ms Suu Kyi has spent much of the past two decades in some form of detention.

According to Nyan Win, Ms Suu Kyi said that she would allow the NLD to make its own decision despite her opposition.

"She will never accept registration under unjust laws, but her personal opinion is not to give orders nor instructions to the NLD," the lawyer quoted her as saying.

The laws, published earlier this month, state that parties cannot have any members with criminal convictions. This rules out many of the NLD's top leaders - including Ms Suu Kyi - who have been jailed on political charges.

If the NLD does choose to register for the polls, it must exclude its highest-profile personnel.

The laws also ban members of religious orders and civil servants from joining political parties. Buddhist monks were the driving forces behind anti-junta protests in 2007.



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