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Burma’s opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi visited constituents in the electorate of Kawhmu in southern Rangoon division on Monday.
The lower house seat was one of forty three seized by Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy in a 2012 by-election. On Monday voters took the opportunity to make local issues known to the Nobel laureate who now spends the majority of her time in the nation’s new capital of Naypyidaw.
Outstanding land grab cases was the major concern for those in the largely rural area about fifty miles southwest of Rangoon city centre. Lack of public transport services and public irrigation systems too weigh heavily on locals.
Suu Kyi warned that some issues need to be handled by government ministries, and vowed to raise the issues with the concerned departments.
“With regard to the livelihoods of the township’s population, such as health, education and employment, we will find out what kind of hardships they face and explore ways to help them solve the issues,” Suu Kyi said. “I am specifically saying here that we will ‘help them solve’ the issues but not saying we can solve all of the issues.”
After the meeting, Suu Kyi met with local administrators in Kahmu, to discuss her voters’ needs.
The general election is set to be held in November, with a campaign period set to start a month before. The National League for Democracy is expected to outpoll current rulers the Union Solidarity and Development Party. However Suu Kyi is barred from the presidency, by virtue of her foreign family members.
The NLD has warned it may boycott the upcoming election should that constitutional clause remain in place.
Changes to the charter must gain the support of 75 per cent of representatives across a bi-cameral parliamentary vote. As 25 percent of seats across both houses of parliament are reserved for the military, the institution effectively holds veto power over constitutional reform.
However, for many Suu Kyi still represents hope for the future of Burma. At the time of writing, a DVB poll shows that 60 percent of readers believe that Suu Kyi is Burma’s best hope for democratic reform.
Do you expect the general election to go ahead in 2015? Have your say in the latest DVB poll here.