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Myanmar opposition complains of campaign restrictions

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Myanmar democracy champion Aung San Suu Kyi’s opposition party said Monday that restrictions on its political campaigning threatened the fairness of upcoming by-elections.
The National League for Democracy called a news conference to complain that it was being denied the use of sports grounds to hold rallies ahead of the closely watched April 1 vote.
“We are facing many difficulties in our campaign,” said party spokesman Nyan Win. “If this situation doesn’t change, we will not believe the coming election is fair.”
The polls, which will see Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi stand for a seat in parliament for the first time, are viewed as a key test of the authorities’ commitment to budding reforms.
A 2010 election which swept the army’s political allies to power was marred by widespread complaints of cheating and intimidation.
The opposition cannot threaten the ruling party’s majority even if it takes all 48 available seats in the by-elections, but a Suu Kyi win would lend legitimacy to the fledgling parliament.
Her NLD party won a landslide victory in an election in 1990, but the then-ruling junta never allowed the party to take power.
Suu Kyi was under house arrest at the time. She was released from her latest stint in detention a few days after the 2010 vote.

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