(Mizzima) – Aung San Suu Kyi, 66, will need to rest four or five days, according to an NLD party official who said her health has improved since she suspended her campaign on Sunday due to exhaustion. Officials said she may return to campaign on Saturday, the day before the by-election on April 1.
The National League for Democracy said in a statement on Monday Suu Kyi had become exhausted after spending many hours in the searing sun in a small boat on the latest in a series of demanding, relentless campaign tours over the past month.
“Although her health condition is improving, her family doctor advised that she needs to take a rest for four or five days,” said the statement.
Pictures of Suu Kyi over the past month show her looking tired and frail. She also fell ill earlier this month while campaigning in the Mandalay area. Doctors said then she suffered dizzy spells and vomiting. Her doctor said she had low blood pressure on Saturday.
During her weekend campaign in a remote southern area, the boat she was riding in struck a sandbar and was grounded for several hours on Saturday. She continued on to campaign in Myiek and spoke to large crowds.
She was scheduled to speak in central Burma on Wednesday, and one of her venues was in Natmauk, the hometown of her father, General Aung San, who was martyred shortly after independence. It is unclear if she will be able to make a scheduled stay overnight in Kwahmu on Saturday, the day before the by-election. The constituency is in a low-income area on the outskirts of Rangoon, and she chose it to represent in Parliament because it is heavily populated by Karen.
During her campaign trip over the weekend, Suu Kyi was forced to take a slow boat to reach her destination after the government denied her campaign access to a faster vessel, one of many obstacles it has thrown up in the past month.
NLD officials have come close to declaring that the government’s actions are premeditated and intentional, preventing a free and fair election. Some observers describe the NLD’s campaign problems to a lack of democratic commitment on the part of low-level, rural government officials. High-ranking government officials have said they are committed to holding a free and fair election.
There were 48 seats open in the by-elections at various government levels. The state Election Commission announced on Friday that voting would be postponed in three constituencies of Kachin State, citing a lack of security. Government troops and ethnic Kachin rebels have clashed repeatedly during the past nine months.