World

Suu Kyi holds massive rally ahead of Myanmar election, vows cooperation if her party wins

  • Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi speaks during an election campaign rally of her National League for Democracy party for upcoming general election Sunday, Nov 1, 2015, in Yangon, Myanmar. Myanmar's general elections are scheduled for Nov. 8, the first since a nominally civilian government was installed in 2011. (AP Photo/Khin Maung Win)

    Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi speaks during an election campaign rally of her National League for Democracy party for upcoming general election Sunday, Nov 1, 2015, in Yangon, Myanmar. Myanmar's general elections are scheduled for Nov. 8, the first since a nominally civilian government was installed in 2011. (AP Photo/Khin Maung Win)  (The Associated Press)

  • Myanmar's opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi smiles as she arrive to deliver a speech during a campaign rally of her National League for Democracy party in Yangon, Myanmar, Sunday, Nov. 1, 2015. Myanmar’s general elections are scheduled for November 8, 2015, the first since a nominally civilian government was installed in 2011. (AP Photo/Gemunu Amarasinghe)

    Myanmar's opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi smiles as she arrive to deliver a speech during a campaign rally of her National League for Democracy party in Yangon, Myanmar, Sunday, Nov. 1, 2015. Myanmar’s general elections are scheduled for November 8, 2015, the first since a nominally civilian government was installed in 2011. (AP Photo/Gemunu Amarasinghe)  (The Associated Press)

  • A supporter with her face painted in the flag of Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy party applauds as she listens speech of their leader during an election campaign rally for upcoming general election Sunday, Nov 1, 2015, in Yangon, Myanmar. Myanmar's general elections are scheduled for Nov. 8, the first since a nominally civilian government was installed in 2011. (AP Photo/Khin Maung Win)

    A supporter with her face painted in the flag of Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy party applauds as she listens speech of their leader during an election campaign rally for upcoming general election Sunday, Nov 1, 2015, in Yangon, Myanmar. Myanmar's general elections are scheduled for Nov. 8, the first since a nominally civilian government was installed in 2011. (AP Photo/Khin Maung Win)  (The Associated Press)

Opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi addressed a huge rally on the outskirts of Myanmar's biggest city Sunday, offering a message of reconciliation with political opponents if her party sweeps the upcoming general election.

Suu Kyi also called for calm and stability as the campaign period nears its end ahead of the Nov. 8 election.

Tens of thousands of ecstatic National League for Democracy supporters swarmed onto a large playing field, waiting for hours in the blazing sunshine for Suu Kyi to make her entrance.

She had hoped to hold the rally in the center of Yangon, near the revered Shwedagon Pagoda, reviving memories of her first-ever political speech in 1988, but city authorities refused her request. The 1988 speech put her on a collision course with the then-military junta and marked the beginning of Suu Kyi's long and often difficult political odyssey.

Just days after an NLD member was wounded in a stabbing at another rally, Suu Kyi asked the crowds to maintain stability right up to the end of campaigning. Without naming names, she said that "there are some who are thinking to use bad ways to try to win."

Suu Kyi spent 15 years under house arrest under the former military dictatorship. She was finally released five years ago.

The junta stepped back from power in 2011 with the election of President Thein Sein, and the country has moved toward democratization, though the military still maintains a powerful position.

Though her party is expected to do well in the election, Suu Kyi herself is constitutionally barred from the presidency because her late husband was British and her two sons hold foreign passports.