RANGOON — Burma’s opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi addressed her constituency on Monday, urging them to support her party in general elections later this year.
While Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) has not yet publicly committed to participating in the elections, she advised her supporters to accept development assistance from the ruling party but ultimately vote for the opposition.
A local healthcare worker at the rally in Rangoon’s Kawhmu Township alerted Suu Kyi of her organization’s needs, explaining that it had been offered assistance from her rival candidate Khin Shwe of the Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP).
“Let me tell you frankly, in the presence of journalists,” Suu Kyi responded, “take everything U Khin Shwe gives you, but vote for the NLD.”
Suu Kyi was elected by Kawhmu Township in by-elections held in 2012, beating her opponent Soe Win with 47,730 votes. She has since established the Daw Khin Kyi Foundation, which works in social development, hospitality and catering for the township’s youth.
Khin Shwe, her primary opponent, is one of Burma’s top businessmen, elected to the Upper House of Parliament during a 2010 general election that was boycotted by the NLD and largely viewed as fraudulent.
His party has been very active in the area of southern Rangoon in recent years, particularly by building roads and schools.