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Suu Kyi launches political bid

world Updated: Jan 19, 2012 00:54 IST

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi launched her historic bid for a seat in parliament today in the latest sign of change in the country after the end of decades of outright military rule.

The Nobel Peace Prize winner is standing in April 1 by-elections seen as a major test of the regime's reform credentials following a surprising series of conciliatory gestures by the new nominally civilian government.

The pro-democracy icon, released from a long stretch of house arrest in late 2010, submitted her registration to stand in a rural constituency in Kawhmu near Yangon, an area devastated by Cyclone Nargis in 2008.

"Aung San Suu Kyi was the first member of the NLD to register. She's going to run for the lower house," a senior party official, Win Htein, told AFP.