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Suu Kyi ‘anxious’ about Burmese election

(Mizzima) – Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi said on Thursday she is “very anxious” that the campaign process and the voting in the April 1 by-election be free and fair.

Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird and Aung San Suu Kyi after a meeting at her home in Rangoon on Thursday, March 8, 2012. Photo: Mizzima“We are just discovering there are many, many irregularities on the voters list, and we have applied to the Election Commission to do something about this,” she said, speaking at a press conference with Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird outside her home in Rangoon.

The Canadian FM, who is making a one-day visit to Burma to evaluate the democratic reform process, said he would be proud to lift the Canadian sanctions against Burma, but “obviously we all want to watch very closely the next three and half weeks of the campaign.” He said he would watch to see how the complaints about the election rolls turn out.

The Canadian government would observe the election to determine if it is fair and transparent, and whether the international community respects the results, he said.

Suu Kyi said she hopes things go smoothly, and that the results can be certified as fair, which could open the door to aid from international governments and humanitarian groups.

“We would welcome aid that is used for our people, which is the first requirement,” she said. All aid should be transparent and have accountability, she said.

“Unless there is transparency and unless there is accountability, I do not think you can take it for granted that the help that you give is going to benefit our people,” she said.

Baird said Canada in the future would look at providing support to civil society groups. “We would love to begin a development aid system and to begin lifting the sanctions,” he said, but only when Canada sees how the election is judged.

Suu Kyi said it was important for the Burmese government to take the first step to help the people.

The Canadian foreign minister noted that Canada is already providing assistance to Burma through international agencies like the U.N.

‘We are providing substantial support for refugees and displaced persons on and around the border,” he said, and partially within the country. “We would like play a bigger role in development programs, a bigger role in trade and commerce, and we are very keen to do that,” he said.
Last Updated ( Thursday, 08 March 2012 22:04 )  

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