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Speaking in a nationally televised party political broadcast last night, Aung San Suu Kyi, the leader of the National League for Democracy (NLD), said that her party was ready to work with the Burmese military, and that the two sides shared the same goals for the country’s future.
“Our people know that the Tatmadaw [Burma’s armed forces] plays an important role in constitutional reform,” she said. “The National League for Democracy and Tatmadaw have differing views on the issue. However, we believe that there is no division between us and the Tatmadaw when it comes to our wish for the stable and bright future of a democratic federal union.”
Uncharacteristically demure and soft-spoken, Suu Kyi came across as sincere and determined as she spoke positively about her country’s future. However, rather than elaborate on her party’s policies, she used the opportunity to offer an olive branch to the army.
Burma’s military has controlled the country for decades with an iron first. Only since former general Thein Sein became president in 2011 has the regime shown any willingness to compromise on power. Nonetheless it still holds 25 percent of all parliamentary seats by constitutional appointment.
“The NLD wishes the Tatmadaw to become a modern and progressive organisation, conforming to democratic standards – one that can stand gracefully among the international community … one that is dependable to protect the freedom, security and peace of the people and country,” she said. “We wish to clear up doubts between the NLD and Tatmadaw, and cooperate on federalism and democratic affairs with mutual trust and respect.”
All 91 political parties in Burma have been allotted a 15-minute slot on national broadcaster MRTV to deliver their message and explain policies during the two-month campaign period.
Burma goes to the polls on 8 November.
On Sunday, the NLD held a press conference in Rangoon outlining its concerns over irregularities and the omission of names from the revised voter lists for the upcoming elections.
The event was hosted by senior party officials, including deputy leader Tin Oo and central executive committee members Win Htein, Nyan Win and Win Myint.
Win Htein said, “If the irregularities in the voter lists persist and many voters are left out, there will be unrest if people don’t get to vote for who they want.”
Read more about Burma’s 2015 election