Upcoming elections most important in Myanmar history: Suu Kyi

New Delhi, Oct 7 (IANS) Myanmarese pro-democracy icon and Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi has dubbed the coming elections in her country as “the most important elections in the history of independent Myanmar” that would decide the future of her country.

“It is an election that will change the future of the country for generations to come. So, we say to the people that they are not voting for themselves, they are voting for their children, their grandchildren,” the National League for Democracy (NLD) chairperson and opposition leader told India Today TV in an interview ahead of the November 8 elections.

Given that 25 percent of the seats in parliament were reserved for the military bloc in Myanmar, Suu Kyi said there was a need to ensure free and fair elections, to change the military system and get a democratic party to lead the country.

Pointing to discrepancies in the voters’ list, she added that even the election commission chairman had admitted that he would vouch for the veracity of only 30 percent of the people on the list.

Asked which office she would seek if there was a bar on her becoming the president, she said, “I’ve made it clear that if the NLD wins the elections, and we form a government, I’m going to be the leader of that government, whether or not I’m the president.”

“Do you have to be a president to lead a country,” she questioned.

To a question if she would assume a role akin to that of Sonia Gandhi in India after her party won the elections, Suu Kyi said, “I hope we can win the elections, so you can see how we do it.”

In 1990, when the NLD won a majority, the military annulled the elections. Suu Kyi said it would not happen again this time since “people are more ready to stand up for themselves”.

“Recently, the commander-in-chief said there would be no military coup. I cannot say with absolute guarantee but I doubt things will repeat the same way,” the Nobel laureate said.

But even if her party won a majority, they would reach out to other parties for national reconciliation, she said.

“We will base our actions firmly on national reconciliation and inclusiveness because our country needs that. There’s been too much division for too many years,” Suu Kyi added.

If the NLD won the elections, the army would be guaranteed a dignified role, she said.

“The constitution will have changes to allow the civilian authorities to have the necessary democratic authority over the military forces. I’m sure the army wouldn’t like it,” the pro-democracy leader said.

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