Myamnar: 1988 student protests leader joins Suu Kyi party

  • Reuters, Yangon
  • Updated: Jul 20, 2015 00:10 IST
Ko Ko Gyi, a leader of student protests in 1988, speaks to the media at the National League for Democracy (NLD) office in Yangon. (Reuters Photo)

A leader of student protests in Myanmar in 1988 that grew into a nationwide pro-democracy movement will run in the general elections in November for opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi’s party, a party spokesman said on Sunday.

The decision is likely to bolster the chances of Suu Kyi’s party in the much-anticipated polls, the first since the end of direct military rule, as it takes on the military-backed ruling party.

The poll comes at a critical time for the Southeast Asian nation and could decide the scope of reforms. “Ko Ko Gyi and some other members from the 88 Generation students group will run in the next general election representing our party,” Nyan Win, a spokesman for Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD), said.

Ko Ko Gyi was a leader of the 1988 protests that the military eventually crushed. He spent more than 17 years in and out of prison before being released on 2012 as part of reforms initiated by the military.

Activists who took part in the 1988 protests are loosely allied in a movement known as the 88 generation, which has kept some distance from Suu Kyi’s party even though they share many aims.

Ko Ko Gyi confirmed that he would run in the election but declined to give further details until the NLD made an official announcement.

About 90 political parties have registered to run in the election scheduled for November 8.

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