Myanmar's Suu Kyi poised for public office

TODD PITMAN Associated Press Published:

WAH THIN KHA, Myanmar (AP) -- Myanmar's leaders spent two decades tenaciously trying to silence pro-democracy campaigner Aung San Suu Kyi. But they are now on the verge of an extraordinary turnaround -- allowing her into parliament.

The government's most prominent critic is likely to be voted into office for the first time in Sunday's by-elections.

Her participation in the polling has been made possible by a fragile detente with a government that has embarked on surprising democratic reforms over the last few months.

The by-election, held to fill just a few dozen vacant legislative seats, will not change the balance of power in a country still heavily controlled by a deeply feared military.

But Suu Kyi's campaign has galvanized Myanmar's downtrodden masses and resurrected hope.