Myanmar's democracy leader runs in Nov. 8 polls against military-backed party to keep her seat



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THANLYIN, Myanmar — Myanmar's democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi on Wednesday registered for November elections to keep her seat in parliament and challenge the ruling military-backed party.

Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy will contest almost all the 498 parliamentary seats in the Nov. 8 polls, and expects heavy gains, according to party spokesman Nyan Win. He said the party will announce the first batch of candidates on Wednesday.

Suu Kyi submitted her papers amid flag-waving, cheering supporters who shouted "Long live Mother Su," at Thanlyin township for the Kawhmu constituency, a poor district south of Yangon, which she also represented during the 2012 by-election.

In the by-election, she and 42 other party members won all but one of the seats, which nonetheless represented a small bloc in a parliament dominated by a pro-government party.

"We have to support Aunty Suu as she is the only leader who can change our country," said Daw Yee, one of more than 100 supporters who had waited for hours to catch a glimpse of the democracy icon.

Parties have until Aug. 8 to submit their candidates.

The 70-year-old Nobel Peace laureate is still unable to run for presidency after lawmakers recently turned down efforts to amend the constitution, which grants the military a quarter of the parliamentary seats, ensuring it has veto power over amendments.

The upcoming polls will be the second since Myanmar ended a half-century of brutal military rule and handed power to a nominally civilian government in 2011.

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