YANGON (AFP) – Detained opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi wants the Myanmar people to keep a close watch on upcoming elections and speak out if the vote is not free and fair, her lawyer said Tuesday.
"Our face should not be turned away from the election although the NLD... decided not to take part," Nyan Win, who is also the long-time spokesman of Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy (NLD), quoted the Nobel Peace laureate as saying during talks at her home.
"For it to become a fair election, people also have a duty, not just the government.
"People have to speak out if the process is not in accordance with the election law or if it is not balanced. People have to reveal it. The NLD has to reveal it," Suu Kyi was quoted as saying.
"She's very glad that people are interested in the political process. But she said the political process is not only the 2010 election. It's just a part of it," Nyan Win said.
"She said everyone should take interest in the election. NLD members should not turn their face from the election process just because they will not take part."
Suu Kyi has spent most of the past 20 years in detention, and as a serving prisoner is barred from standing in the November 7 election, which will be the military-ruled country's first in 20 years.
The NLD won a landslide victory in 1990 but the junta never allowed it to take office.
The party is boycotting the upcoming vote, saying the rules are unfair. As a result, it was forcibly disbanded by the ruling generals.
So far 42 political parties have been given permission to stand in the polls, which have been widely condemned by activists and the West as a charade aimed at putting a civilian face on military rule.
Among them is the National Democracy Force (NDF), formed by former NLD members whose decision to participate in the vote put them at odds with Suu Kyi, who was in favour of a boycott.
"The NLD cannot support any party. If it supports one, it will become an enemy to another," Nyan Win quoted Suu Kyi as saying. "So she said to let them do their work."
Nyan Win said that Suu Kyi had told him more of her opinions on the election and Myanmar's political situation, and he would give details on Wednesday after discussing them with other senior NLD members.