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    Suu Kyi selected to remain head of opposition

    Aung San Suu Kyi spoke Sunday at the National League for Democracy party’s first congress.
    Khin Maung Win/Associated Press
    Aung San Suu Kyi spoke Sunday at the National League for Democracy party’s first congress.

    YANGON, Myanmar — Aung San Suu Kyi was selected Sunday to continue as head of Myanmar’s main opposition party, keeping her leadership post even as the party undergoes a makeover to adjust to the country’s new democratic framework.

    The Nobel laureate was named chairwoman of the National League for Democracy’s new executive board on the final day of a landmark three-day party congress attended by 894 delegates from around the country.

    The congress also expanded the group’s Central Executive Committee from seven members to 15, in a revitalization and reform effort ahead of Myanmar’s 2015 general election. The party is seeking to infuse its ranks with new faces, expertise, and diversity without sidelining longstanding members.


    ‘‘We have to see how effectively and efficiently the new leaders can perform their duties,’’ said Suu Kyi, who has led the NLD since its inception in 1988. ‘‘We hope they will learn through experience.’’

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    Suu Kyi’s selection had been assured, since she is the party’s main drawing card. But her dominant influence has also drawn criticism that the party may be too reliant on her charisma.

    Asked about allegations by critics that her party leans toward an authoritarian structure, she said Sunday that ‘‘all our leaders have been elected democratically. So if they feel that they do not like authoritarian leadership, they should not vote for those whom they think are authoritarian.’’

    Suu Kyi conceded that there has been some friction in the party’s current transformation process.

    Associated Press