Yangon (AsiaNews / Agencies) - International Women's Day and under the gaze of icon Aung San Suu Kyi the first congress of the National League for Democracy (NLD), the main Burmese opposition party opened today in Yangon, Myanmar. Banned for at least two decades from life in the country, the NLD won more than 40 seats in the April 2012 elections, which sanctioned its leaders entry into Parliament. In recent months, the same Nobel Laureate has repeatedly called for a "restructuring" capable of transforming the movement from an opposition group into a ruling party.
The three days of meetings and discussions - which ends March 10 - will be attended by some 900 delegates from all over Myanmar, although it is not clear if the summit will remain off-limits to the press. During the congress the next leader of the party will also be elected, even if the predictions converge on the confirmation of Aung San Suu Kyi. In recent days, the "Lady" emphasized the need to " strengthen the party with new blood and make the right decisions."
Moreover, the National League for Democracy, founded in 1988 with a million members across the country, has an obvious problem of age, most of the ruling class is between 80 and 90 years old and is affectionately called "the NLD uncles. " However, the structure of the party has always been "hierarchical" but now needs renewal, even and especially in view of the general elections of 2015, where the party is seen as a favourite, in the case of free and fair vote.
The delegates today are due to elect 120 members of the Central Committee which, in turn, will be asked to choose the 15 members who will animate the key choices for the future, as well as the leader. Burmese analysts and policy experts confirm, however, that the party needs a "new direction" to take and, more importantly, demonstrate its "ability to govern."
Aung San Suu Ki co-founded the party in 1988, after the bloody repression ordered by the military junta that choked demands for greater democracy and freedom of students, monks, activists and ordinary citizens with violence and terror. The NLD won a landslide election in 1990, the result of which was never recognized by the dictatorship, the Nobel Peace Laureate - along with many other members of the party - paid with long periods of detention (under house arrest or in notorious prisons in the country). The three-day conference is the first real opportunity to draw up an agenda for government - that has never emerged not even since the beginning of the process of reforms wanted by President Thein Sein and his semi-civilian government - and become a true driving force of the nation. And to achieve this goal, adds a leader of the old guard Han Tha Myint, "new faces and new ideas" are needed.