Myanmar's pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi is likely to be released on Saturday. The ruling military government on Friday reportedly signed the orders authorizing the release of Suu Kyi who has been under house arrest for over 15 of the past 20 years.

The authorities will release her. It is certain, AFP quoted a government official as saying.

The National League for Democracy (NLD) leader's house arrest term is set to expire on Saturday, but the government, which was slammed by the West for irregularities in the recent elections, is considering the release to silence most critics. Myanmar's Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP), backed by the Junta, has already claimed an overwhelming victory in the first vote since 1990. However, official results of the poll are yet to be released.

This is good news for Burmese citizens, a report in the Burma News International stated speaking of her possible release.

Security has been stepped up in Yangon and other sensitive areas and party cadres of the NLD have been gathering at the party headquarters. Analysts say that despite her release there are slim chances that the junta-backed government will allow her to foster a new political campaign. Reports are also flowing in that Suu Kyi could refuse the release order if it was a conditional one.

The NLD leader was due to be released in August last year, but detention was extended by 18 months after she was caught up in a bizarre case involving an American who swam across Inya Lake to her home in order to save her.

Daw Aung San Suu Kyi (aka) Daw Suu, as she is called, is the daughter of General Aung San, a Burmese revolutionary and the founder of the Communist Party of Burma. She led the NLD to a landslide victory in the 1990 vote, but boycotted the recent elections alleging fraud by the Junta. Her party remains proscribed in the country.

Suu Kyi release could give her a second chance to cultivate a new political strategy, and build an alliance with the opposition groups to contest the USDP and the army generals. She could also put pressure on the government to release the estimated 2,000 political prisoners held by the army.