Aung San Suu Kyi
Myanmar's pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi talks to a large group of foreign and local reporters at her home in Yangon Reuters

Burmese democracy activist Aung San Suu Kyi criticized the national elections in which she is taking part, saying on Friday that widespread irregularities went beyond what is acceptable for democratic elections.

I don't think we can consider it genuinely free and fair if we consider what has been going on for the last couple of months, she told reporters.

We have had to face many irregularities.

The Nobel Peace Prize laureate said that despite many, many cases of intimidation, possible vote-rigging and the vandalism of election posters, Suu Kyi and her National League for Democracy party will continue to run in Sunday's election.

Still we are determined to go forward because this is what our people want, she said, according to Reuters. We don't at all regret having taking part.

Speaking in metaphor, Suu Kyi told supporters, international election observers and reporters from her home in Yangon that the parliamentary elections will be a barometer for the success of promised reforms.

We don't have spring in Burma, she said. We think in terms of the cool season, the hot season and the dry season. So what we hope for is not spring -- because spring does not last forever -- but we hope for the kind of situation where our people can enjoy the kind of climate that they like best.

Suu Kyi has already fallen victim to the literal hot season in Burma. On Monday, she halted her exhaustive campaign after falling ill while making stops in the humid islands of the Mergui Archipelago in the south of the country.

Suu Kyi is running to represent her native Yangon in a by-election that will fill 45 vacant seats in the country's 664-seat parliament.