Myanmar's Opposition Reappoints Suu Kyi as Leader in Party Makeover

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Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi has been elected head of the new executive board of Myanmar's opposition National League for Democracy, as the party has a makeover to adjust itself to the country's new democratic framework.

A landmark three-day party congress attended by 894 delegates from around the country on Sunday expanded the group's Central Executive Committee from seven members to 15, with an addition five reserve members, in a revitalization and reform effort ahead of the 2015 general election.

Suu Kyi is the sole holdover from the party's original executive board when it was founded in 1988 but the other new members are also mostly long-serving party loyalists.

Suu Kyi on Sunday urged her opposition party to "seize the opportunity" as it gears up for what is expected to be a major victory for the NLD in the 2015 polls, if the vote if free and fair.

"For the benefit of the country we should unite and get along," she told delegates. "I would like to ask that you do not allow personal feelings to harm the future of the nation," she added.

After being sidelined by Myanmar's military rulers for two decades, the party entered the political mainstream last year as a result of sweeping reforms initiated by a new reformist government.

But some observers question whether the NLD is ready to run an impoverished nation whose economy, education and health systems were left in tatters by the corrupt former junta.

Faultlines have also been detected between the older top party officials -- known as the "NLD uncles" -- and a younger generation eager to help steer the party as Myanmar enters a new era.

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