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Nobel laureate to run in Myanmar elections

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Summary of story from AlJazeera, November 21, 2011

Myanmar’s most prominent dissident, the Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, will run in the upcoming parliamentary elections for the first time in 21 years, a senior official in her party has announced.

The announcement comes three days after her party, the National League for Democracy, officially ended its year-long boycott of the country’s political system.

Suu Kyi had previously not indicated whether she herself would stand in the election but her announcement comes after Myanmar won a powerful endorsement on Friday when US President Barack Obama announced Secretary of State Hillary Clinton would visit the country citing “flickers of progress”.

Clinton will be the highest-ranking American to visit the former British colony since a 1962 military coup.

The participation of Suu Kyi in the elections would also be another dramatic sign of openness and lend legitimacy to the government after the retired generals leading the country nominally handed power to a civilian parliament last March.

The government recently released more than 230 political prisoners, eased media censorship and sought guidance from international financial institutions to revive its economy.

Suu Kyi is a staunch opponent of Myanmar’s military dictators and spent 15 of the previous 21 years in detention prior to her release from house arrest in March.

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