Myanmar has said that democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi may be freed after November 7 elections, as it attempts to deflect a barrage of criticism over the discredited polls.
Myanmar's elections, the nation's first in two decades, have been derided as a sham by critics who say they lack any credibility without the participation of Suu Kyi and other opposition figures.
Foreign Minister Nyan Win flagged the release at Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) talks, but there was a cautious response to the comments from a regime that has kept Suu Kyi detained for 15 of the last 21 years.
“We were told that she will have completed her term of imprisonment by the first 10 days, probably, after the elections,” ASEAN secretary-general Surin Pitsuwan said.
“We were told that there will be no more reason to keep her in house arrest. But for that we will have to wait. It was not a clear-cut commitment,” he said of comments made at a dinner meeting on Wednesday.
Authorities in Myanmar have previously told AFP that the democracy leader will be released when her current term of house arrest expires on November 13, but the military state has made no official confirmation.