Suu Kyi calls for NLD to ‘grow wiser’

Suu Kyi calls for NLD to ‘grow wiser’

National League for Democracy (NLD) chairperson Aung San Suu Kyi said the party must aim to grow wiser in 2015. Her speech in Rangoon was part of events marking Burma’s 67th Independence Day on Sunday.

The opposition leader told NLD members that it would be necessary “to grow wiser in order to implement peace and development for Burma” and that “building this is a harder task than fighting”.

She also emphasised the importance of restoring positive values and attitudes that have been lost in order to prevent the country’s demise.

NLD members, representatives of other political parties and diplomats attended the event, which wrapped up around 3pm on Sunday.

Suu Kyi did not attend the Grand Military Review in Naypyidaw where the government marked Independence Day with military parades.

While it maintains strong popular support, insiders say infighting often leads the NLD astray. Expelled former members have criticised the party for suffering from nepotism that is not unlike the relationship between the ruling junta and cronies.

The NLD concluded its most recent congress in December, announcing its intention to campaign vigorously for the 2015 general election, while maintaining efforts to enact constitutional reform.

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Having boycotted national elections in 2010, the NLD returned to the political fold shortly after President Thein Sein came into power the following year, when he launched a series of economic and political reforms.

The NLD re-registered and competed in by-elections in April 2012, winning 43 of the 46 constituencies up for grabs. Suu Kyi represented the party in the Rangoon township of Kawhmu, easily winning a seat in the lower house.

The NLD has focused a year-long campaign aimed at amending the 2008 Constitution, because, it says, Article 436 allows the military effective veto power over any constitutional reform.

The Constitution also bars Suu Kyi from running for the presidency or vice-presidency, due to a clause, Article 59(f), which prohibits any candidate who has direct family members with foreign citizenship from seeking the post.

Suu Kyi’s deceased husband, Michael Aris, was English, and their two sons have British citizenship.

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