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Lawyer Says Burma's Opposition Leader Won't Vote


Nyan Win, lawyer for Burma's detained opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, talks to media at his house in Rangoon, Burma, 12 Oct 2010

Nyan Win, lawyer for Burma's detained opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, talks to media at his house in Rangoon, Burma, 12 Oct 2010

Detained Burmese pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she will not vote in next month's election, even though the country's military rulers have put her name on the list of eligible voters.

Her lawyer told reporters Tuesday that she believes placing her name on the electoral rolls is "not in accordance with the law," because she is being detained.

Burmese law prohibits voting by those serving prison terms. Aung San Suu Kyi is serving an 18-month home detention sentence for briefly sheltering an American man who swam uninvited to her home. She is scheduled to be released six days after the November 7 elections.

Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy won the last election in Burma in 1990, but the military rulers prohibited it from taking power. The government disbanded the party in May after it failed to register for next month's election.

Her lawyer, Nyan Win, said that because the pro-democracy party is not competing in the election, "she has no party to vote for even if she is allowed to vote."

Human rights critics widely view the election as a charade aimed at putting a civilian face on continued military rule.

Altogether, 37 political parties, including the military-supported Union Solidarity and Development Party, are participating in the election for 1,157 seats, including 494 in Burma's Union Parliament. A quarter of the seats in the national parliament have been reserved for the military.

Officials initially said Aung San Suu Kyi's name did not appear on the voter list, but later backed down. They said she could vote because she was under house arrest and not in prison.

Burma's Supreme Court has agreed to consider an appeal of her detention next week.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP.

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