Acknowledging that the world is watching and a lot of Western diplomacy depends on Nobel Peace Prize Winner Aung San Suu Kyi's political campaign and upcoming elections in April, Myanmar has lifted a rally ban just hours after Suu Kyi's party complained about fair elections this morning.
"The Union Election Commission (UEC) contacted Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy (NLD), which boycotted the 2010 election, to tell the party that a ban on the use of sports grounds, which prevented a February 14 rally from taking place, was no longer in effect," reports Reuters. The timing is what matters here, since the country's quick response and the NLD's complaints potentially have implications beyond Myanmar's borders. The NLD had complained publicly this morning that the rally ban was stifling campaigning and suggested that the upcoming elections were unfair, according to the BBC. Of late, Myanmar has been rewarded by the U.S. with more diplomacy: an ambassador was assigned there last month after the release of political prisoners, and Hilary Clinton visited late last year in the wake of "overtures" to Suu Kyi's and the promise of fair elections. Clinton and Suu Kyi's political relationship also garnered its fair share of attention when she visited. "The UEC has now allowed us to use the facilities earlier banned by sports ministry. We do welcome this news," Han Tha Myint, an NLD central executive committee member, told Reuters. Suu Kyi is vying for one of the 48 open parliamentary seats, and elections will take place April 1.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.