Myanmar's opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi calls for free and fair elections in a video message released on her National League for Democracy Facebook page. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi kicked off campaigning for the first free general election since the end of military rule saying it would be a crucial turning point and called on the global community to monitor the outcome. In a video message posted on her National League for Democracy's (NLD) Facebook page, Suu Kyi said elections should be free and fair, but "even more important" would be the transition period that follows. The NLD is expected to win the election, which marks a major shift in Myanmar's political landscape, giving the platform to democratic activists shut out of public life during nearly half a century of strict military rule that ended in 2011. The NLD won general elections in 1990 in a landslide, but the junta did not recognize the result. "For the first time in decades, our people will have a real chance of bringing about real change. This is a chance that we cannot afford to let slip," said Suu Kyi. "A smooth and tranquil transition is almost more important than a free and fair election," said Suu Kyi, wearing a traditional Burmese green dress with a pink scarf. The campaign begins less then a month after a major presidential contender and opponent of President Thein Sein, powerful parliamentary speaker Shwe Mann, was removed as ruling party leader in a dramatic shake-up of the political establishment.