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HindustanTimes Thu,17 Apr 2014

World

Suu Kyi calls for party unity amid squabbles
AFP
Yangon, March 09, 2013
First Published: 09:13 IST(9/3/2013)
Last Updated: 09:28 IST(9/3/2013)

Myanmar's opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi on Saturday called for her once-banned party to unify as it prepares for landmark 2015 polls, conceding there had been "some fighting" over party positions.

Speaking at the first congress of her National League for Democracy, she said "the spirit of fraternity is very important", adding "there was some fighting" internally, which analysts say could undermine its push for power.

Although it is hugely popular as Myanmar emerges from years of military rule, the NLD faces concerns that it is politically inexperienced and led by veterans of the democracy struggle who are unwilling to give way to an eager younger generation.

In a sign of internal tensions, four party members were banned from attending the congress -- its first after years organising in secret under the former junta. They were accused of trying to influence the voting ahead of the meeting.

Referring to Saturday's vote for party chairman, the incumbent Suu Kyi urged delegates to chose a "leader who is in accord with this era, in accord with this country and the party".

The 67-year-old Nobel laureate has not ruled out ambitions of becoming president, but a constitutional rule now bars her from the role as she was married to a Briton and has two sons who are foreign nationals.


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