Suu Kyi begins rebuilding her political movement

BURMESE democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi began the nuts and bolts work of reviving her political movement yesterday, consulting lawyers about having her now-disbanded party declared legal again, her spokesman said.

Suu Kyi was released at the weekend from seven and a half years in detention.

On Sunday, she told thousands of wildly cheering supporters at the headquarters of her National League for Democracy that she would continue to fight for human rights and the rule of law in the military-controlled nation.

The 65-year-old Nobel Peace laureate must balance the expectations of the country’s pro-democracy movement with the realities of freedom that could be withdrawn at any time by the regime.

Although her party is officially dissolved, it has continued operating with the same structure.

But without official recognition, it is in legal limbo.

Suu Kyi, who has been detained for 15 of the past 21 years, has indicated she would continue with her political activity but not whether she would challenge the military with rallies and other activities.

“I believe in human rights and I believe in the rule of law. I will always fight for these things,” Suu Kyi told the crowd on Sunday.

“I want to work with all democratic forces and I need the support of the people.”

Nyan Win, who is her lawyer as well as a party spokesman, said Suu Kyi met with her lawyers yesterday morning and party officials from areas outside Rangoon who have kept her political network alive during years of repression.

He said Burma’s High Court will hold a hearing this Thursday to decide whether to accept a case from Suu Kyi arguing that her party’s dissolution “is not in accordance with the law”.

The party was disbanded earlier this year under a new law because it failed to reregister for November 7 elections, complaining conditions set by the junta were unfair and undemocratic.

Suu Kyi’s side says the new Election Commission has no right to deregister parties that were registered under a different Election Commission in 1990.

The party also contends that the court is legally bound to hear their case.

Full results from the November 7 elections – the first in 20 years – have yet to be released, a military-backed party looks set for a solid majority in both houses of parliament.

Many observers have questioned whether her release on Saturday was timed by the junta to distract the world’s attention from the polls,

The elections were decried by Western nations as a sham designed to perpetuate control by the military which has ruled Burma since 1962.

Prime Minister David Cameron the release of should be the first step towards the people of Burma being able to choose their leaders.

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