Burma Democratic Concern has the firm determination to carry on doing until the democracy restore in Burma.

Monday, 20 February 2012

Burmese pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi's political party has warned that by-elections may not be fair because of restrictions on campaigning.

National League for Democracy (NLD) spokesman Nyan Win said they face "many difficulties", such as getting approval to use public venues for rallies.

Aung San Suu Kyi, who was released from house arrest in 2010, is running for one of 48 parliamentary seats in April.

The polls are being seen as a test of the government's commitment to reform.

The NLD boycotted Burma's last election in 2010 but agreed to rejoin the electoral process after the military backed government brought in a series of democratic reforms.

"What we want is fair play, but the restrictions have increased lately. It is very difficult to say that the upcoming by-elections could be free and fair," NLD spokesman Nyan Win said in a news conference in Rangoon.

Specifically, he says that the party has been stopped from using three sports fields for the rallies.

'Hugely symbolic'
Even if the NLD wins all 48 seats, the military-backed government would still have a commanding majority in parliament.

But, the BBC's Jonah Fisher in Bangkok says, opposition victory would be seen as hugely symbolic.

Although insignificant in terms of numbers, the conduct of the election will go a long way towards deciding whether Western sanctions to Burma will be lifted.

The 2010 elections saw a military junta replaced with a nominally civilian government backed by the armed forces.

Since then, the new administration has embarked on a series of reforms, prompting the NLD to rejoin the political process.

Western nations have said that they will match progress on reform with movement on sanctions.

The NLD had won a landslide victory in the 1990 election, but the ruling military junta at the time did not allow the party to assume office.

Ms Suu Kyi, who won the Nobel Peace Prize, was under house arrest at the time. This is the first time that she has run for a parliamentary seat.

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