RANGOON — Opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi has said the success of democracy in Burma would depend on the National League for Democracy (NLD) securing a “landslide” victory in the upcoming general election, with the chairwoman promising that her party would not be a “bully” should it take power.
“When we succeed in the election, we will not bully,” she said at the close of the NLD’s two-day executive committee meeting in Rangoon on Sunday. “We will make friends with enemies as well as making our friends stand for us, with no grudge, to move forward in unity toward a democratic union. I want you all to know this.”
Suu Kyi said the party’s executive committee had used the weekend meeting to discuss important issues and had made several key decisions, though the chairwoman was short on specifics.
“Among our decisions was to succeed in the election. It is not for my party’s success but for a democratic union and to get people their rights in full,” she said.
According to an NLD press release, the party will help scrutinize nationwide voter lists, many of which have been posted publicly in recent weeks and are reportedly riddled with errors.
Despite its victory rhetoric, the party maintains that it has not yet committed to contesting the election, which is expected to take place in early November.
At the press conference, executive committee member Win Myint told reporters that the party would announce whether it intends to compete in the poll after the Union Election Commission (UEC) announces a date for Election Day. He added that the party’s decision would have nothing to do with whether the country’s Constitution is amended to enable Suu Kyi to become president.
“We have never said that we would join only if [the Constitution allows] Daw Aung San Suu Kyi to become the president,” he said.
Suu Kyi is currently barred from the presidency because her two sons are British, a disqualifier under Article 59(f) of the Constitution.
Asked to elaborate on Suu Kyi’s remarks about befriending enemies, fellow executive committee member Win Htein said: “To tell you frankly, the USDP is our rival. If they want to do something good for the country, we will engage with them. National reconciliation is not about one party. It has to be all inclusive. That’s why we have to make friends with all, including the USDP and the military.”
Suu Kyi’s conciliatory tone could also be interpreted as a pre-poll olive branch with Burma’s election history in mind: The NLD won a landslide in the nation’s last free and fair vote, a result that the ruling junta annulled in 1990.