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France shrugs off Suu Kyi release claims

WASHINGTON, Oct. 6 (UPI) -- The possible release of Aung San Suu Kyi from house arrest by authorities in Myanmar is in no way "a measure of clemency," French authorities say.

Suu Kyi's name was apparently added to the voter list for the elections scheduled for November. She has been under house arrest for nearly 15 years. Her National League for Democracy won 1990 elections though the military leadership refused to sanction the results.

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Authorities announced last week they would release Suu Kyi before the November vote. The French Embassy in Washington shrugged off the move by the military junta in Myanmar.

"In no way at all can this be deemed a measure of clemency on the part of the junta," an embassy statement read. "Indeed, Aung San Suu Kyi's term of house arrest ends on Nov. 13 this year."

Myanmar said the election is meant to usher in a new era of civilian leadership in the country. Critics complain the election process is controlled by military authorities, who are guaranteed a 20 percent allocation of the seats in parliament.

Suu Kyi is challenging her detention, though the opposition Democratic Voice of Burma says she isn't allowed to discuss the case with her lawyer.

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She won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991.

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