Suu Kyi galvanizes once-repressed Myanmar politics

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“It’s easy to make problems, but it’s not easy to implement them,” Mrs. Suu Kyi said. “We have a lot to do.”

An NLD victory would be highly symbolic, but her party would have limited power since the legislature is overwhelmingly dominated by the military and the ruling pro-military party. Up for grabs are 48 seats vacated by lawmakers who were appointed to the Cabinet and other posts.

Mrs. Suu Kyi has spent 15 of the past 23 years under house arrest and, as a result, has rarely traveled outside Yangon. Although she conducted one successful day of rallies north of Yangon last year, a previous political tour to greet supporters in 2003 sparked a bloody ambush of her convoy that saw her forcibly confined at her lakeside home.

She finally was released from house arrest in late 2010, just days after the elections that installed the current government and led to the junta’s official disbandment.

Mrs. Suu Kyi met with party members in Dawei, including one running for a parliament seat. She will make similar political trips to other areas, including the country’s second-largest city, Mandalay, in early February before officially campaigning for her own seat, party spokesman Nyan Win said.

Mrs. Suu Kyi is hoping to represent the constituency of Kawhmu, a poor district just south of Yangon, where some villagers’ homes were destroyed by Cyclone Nargis in 2008.

Lay Lay Myint, a 35-year-old grocery store manager, said Mrs. Suu Kyi‘s platform in parliament would allow her to “let the world know what is happening” in Myanmar.

“People have been living in fear here,” he said. “Just seeing her here makes us braver, more courageous.”

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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