Myanmar democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi said on Friday she supported the idea of her political party re-registering to contest a series of by-elections for vacant parliamentary seats.
Suu Kyi, the leader of the National League for Democracy (NLD), told a meeting of the NLD's Central Executive Committee that she favoured the party running in the polls, but she did not say whether she would be interested in becoming a lawmaker herself.
In my opinion, I would like the party to re-register and to run in the by-elections in all the 48 constituencies, she told the meeting, which was attended by reporters.
The committee has yet to reach a decision on whether to contest the by-elections. No date has been set for the polls.
The NLD boycotted last year's controversial army-dominated election and was then officially dissolved by the authorities, but has continued to function and still enjoys strong support from the Burmese public.
Myanmar recently amended a political party law removing a clause barring anyone convicted of a crime from joining a party or taking part in an election.
The NLD decided to boycott last year's election because the rules barred many of its prominent members who had served time in jail, including Suu Kyi, who had spent 15 of the past 21 years in detention before her release a year ago.
Although a decision on contesting the polls has not been reached, Nobel Peace Prize laureate Suu Kyi commands considerable influence over the party and it is unlikely its top members would go against her wishes.
NLD insiders said the party was split on contesting last year's election but voted unanimously to boycott the polls after Suu Kyi said she would not dream of taking part.
The NLD won the 1990 election by a landslide but the military refused to cede power and for the following two decades suppressed the party's activities and put many of its members in prison.
The military nominally handed power in March to a civilian government and it has introduced some reforms and started a dialogue with Suu Kyi, moves welcomed by the West, which has imposed sanctions on the country because of its poor human rights record.
The new government has recently released more than 200 political prisoners, eased media censorship and sought help from international financial institutions on its currency and banking system.
Many analysts believe it is unlikely Suu Kyi will run for a parliamentary seat herself, so she can focus on seeking reconciliation and engagement with the government and international community.
(Writing by Martin Petty; Editing by Alan Raybould)