Yangon (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The vice chairman of the opposition, a close aide to Aung San Suu Kyi, is about to be freed from house arrest today. Tin Oo, 83, has suffered detention without trial since 2003, when he was arrested together with Burmese leaders during a political demonstration.
The release should take place one a day after the National Day of Unity, celebrated by the junta. Yesterday January Than Shwe praised the elections "free and fair" to be held this year. Tin Oo is vice chairman of the National League for Democracy (NLD), the party of Suu Kyi, who swept the elections in '90, but was deprived of victory by a military coup. As a result Aung San Suu Kyi has lived the last 20 years in prison or under house arrest. Last August she was sentenced to another 18 months of house arrest just to marginalize her from elections.
The NLD has not yet decided whether to participate in elections or not. The vote will be based on a constitution rewritten in 2008 which ensures full power to the military, guaranteeing them 25% of seats in parliament. Some NLD members are awaiting the release of Tin Oo to assess the situation.