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Myanmar will hold democratic elections in my lifetime: Suu Kyi

January 05, 2012 17:31 IST

Buoyed by recent developments in Myanmar, democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi believes the country ill hold democratic elections "in my lifetime".

In an interview with the BBC, the opposition leader on Thursday said she did not know when that would be or whether she would stand for president of Myanmar, but insisted that political prisoners must be freed. Her party, National League for Democracy, has now been registered as a political party.

The interview coincided with the visit of Foreign secretary William Hague to Myanmar, the first by a British Foreign Secretary since 1955. Suu Kyi, 66, said she foresaw "full democratic elections in my lifetime", adding "but then I don't know how long I will live" or whether she would live "a normal lifespan".

On the present leadership in the country, Suu Kyi described the president, as an "honest man" though she did not know all the members of the present government.

"I trust the president, but I can't yet trust the government for the simple reason that I don't yet know all the members of government," she said.

"The most important thing about the president is that he is an honest man.... He is a man capable of taking risks if he thinks they are worthwhile," the iconic opposition leader said.

Asked whether the day was coming when she would run for the top office, she said: "I can't even tell whether this is something that I would like to do or would do."  

Hague said after meeting his counterpart Wunna Maung Lwi in Nay Pyi Taw that "the foreign minister has reaffirmed commitments that have been made to release political prisoners".

Suu Kyi said the country had made progress but it was not "as fast as a lot of us would like it to be. But on the other hand I don't think it's too slow. It's slow but not too slow," she said.

Prasun Sonwalker London
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