19 Jan 2012

Aung San Suu Kyi registers for Myanmar election

6:02 am on 19 January 2012

Myanmar pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi has registered to run in a by-election for a parliamentary seat.

Ms Suu Kyi, released from house arrest in November last year, will run in the rural township of Kawhmu in polls on 1 April.

Her National League for Democracy (NLD) party boycotted the last elections but has now rejoined the political process amid reform in Myanmar.

A BBC correspondent says the election is being seen as a key test of the military-backed government's reformist credentials.

The by-election will fill 48 parliamentary seats left vacant when cabinet members and deputy ministers assumed their posts.

The NLD plans to contest more than 40 seats.

The town of Kawhmu was one of the areas hit hard by Cyclone Nargis, which left at least 138,000 people dead in the Rangoon region and Irrawaddy Delta in 2008.