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Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmar Opposition Leader, May Run For Parliament

02/ 5/12 11:44 PM ET AP

Aung San Suu Kyi
Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi speaks to the media outside her residence after talks with Tomas Ojea Quintana, the UN's Special human rights envoy to Burma, on February 3, 2012 in Yangon, Myanmar. (Photo by Paula Bronstein/Getty Images)

YANGON, Myanmar — Myanmar's Election Commission has given opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi the green light to run for parliamentary by-elections, which are seen as a key test of the long-repressed country's commitment to democratic reforms.

Suu Kyi previously announced her intention to run in the April elections but was waiting for official approval from the commission, which said it had to scrutinize her eligibility.

The commission said Monday it had no objection to Suu Kyi's bid and officially accepted her candidacy.

After nearly half a century of iron-fisted military rule in Myanmar, a nominally civilian government took office last March.

The April polls are being held to fill 48 seats vacated by lawmakers appointed to the Cabinet and other posts.

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Following a mass uprising in Burma in which thousands of civilians died, Suu Kyi makes her first public speech calling for democracy in front of crowd of 500,000.

Filed by Jade Walker  |