World

From prison to power: Aung San Suu Kyi, Mandela and others...

After decades of campaigning for democracy and 15 years in prison, Aung San Suu Kyi is poised to take power.

Her party has won a landslide victory and seems certain to form Myanmar's next government. Although constitutionally barred from the presidency, she has said she will be "above the president". But what kind of leader will she make once in power?

We look at six examples from history of people who won their "fight for democracy" and made it to power. But what happened next?

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Gandhi: 'You will never imprison my mind'

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, known as Mahatma ("great soul"), was an astute campaigner who fought for Indian independence from British rule and for the rights of the Indian poor.

He was arrested many times by the British, and his wife died in prison shortly before he was released.

Although his campaign for independence was ultimately successful, the outcome - the two new states of India and Pakistan, divided along religious lines - was far from the united India he had envisaged.

The partition set off mass mutual killings and the chaotic migration of 10 million people.

In defending the rights of the Muslims who chose to remain in India, he made many enemies, and he was shot and killed by a Hindu extremist just months after independence.

A crowd of nearly one million people lined the route of his funeral procession and across the world people mourned the death of a global figure of peace, who never saw his dream of a united India become a reality.

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Robert Mugabe: 'Only God will remove me'

A former teacher educated by Jesuits, Robert Mugabe made his name in the guerrilla war that ultimately led to the overthrow of white minority rule in Zimbabwe, then known as Rhodesia. He was arrested by the Rhodesian government in 1964 and spent 10 years in jail.

Mr Mugabe came to power in 1980 as a revolutionary hero, and this is why many fellow African leaders refuse to criticise him.

His critics accuse him of wrecking Zimbabwe. He once said that a country could never go bankrupt. Presiding over the world's fastest-shrinking economy, with hyperinflation approaching a daily rate of 100% in 2008, he tested his theory to the limit. At 91, Mr Mugabe is still president of Zimbabwe.

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Cory Aquino: People Power

Maria Corazon Sumulong Cojuangco (Cory Aquino) was born into a wealthy Philippine family and married a high-flying politician, Benigno Aquino, who became the youngest mayor, youngest governor and, eventually, the youngest senator ever elected in the Philippines.

He was imprisoned in 1973 after President Marcos declared martial law, and was assassinated as he prepared for a presidential election 10 years later.

Cory Aquino led more than a million mourners in her husband's funeral procession and led calls for President Marcos's resignation. Uniting the opposition, she formed a peaceful protest movement known as People Power and emerged victorious from a snap election in 1986. The former president fled the country.

As president, she was always personally popular, although her government faced a series of coup attempts from Marcos loyalists and disgruntled military officers. She stepped down in 1992 but remained active in politics and played a major role in the ousting of President Joseph Estrada in 2001 and his replacement by Gloria Arroyo.

Nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986 (she lost to writer and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel) she subsequently received a number of awards for championing democracy and human rights.

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Benazir Bhutto: 'I don't fear death'

Benazir Bhutto's father, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, was president, then prime minister of Pakistan in the 1970s. He ran one of the few government in post-independence Pakistan that was not run by the army. He was executed in 1979, following a coup. Benazir's two brothers also suffered violent deaths.

She followed her father into politics. Imprisoned just before his death, she spent most of her five-year jail term in solitary confinement.

Released from prison for medical treatment, Ms Bhutto began a campaign from London against the military government of General Zia. She returned to Pakistan in 1986, attracting huge crowds to rallies.

In 1988 she became prime minister after Gen Zia died in an explosion on his aircraft. Benazir Bhutto served as prime minister twice, from 1988 to 1990, and from 1993 to 1996. On both occasions she was dismissed by the president for alleged corruption.

She spent eight years in exile, but returned in 2007 when another military strongman, Pervez Musharraf, granted her and others an amnesty from corruption charges. Some in Pakistan saw her negotiations with the military regime as a betrayal.

She was killed in a bombing in 2007, a month before elections in which she was again a strong contender for power.

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Lech Walesa: 'My work here is done'

Lech Walesa was one of the founders of Poland's Solidarity trade-union movement, which challenged the communist government during shipyard strikes in 1980. Mr Walesa came to symbolise the political struggle that led to the collapse of the Soviet bloc.

During his time leading illegal strikes he was arrested and interrogated many times. When later asked if he had been afraid he replied: "I'm a man of faith, I only fear God, and my wife - sometimes."

He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1983, and in 1990 became the country's post-communist president. But his confrontational style alienated voters, and he was often accused of lacking sophistication.

In 1995 he failed to gain a second term, losing power to an ex-communist. He is still regarded by many as a hero of the anti-communist struggle and in 2004 Gdansk international airport was renamed after him.

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Nelson Mandela: Father of the nation

One of 13 children, Nelson Mandela was a diligent student, but was expelled from university in 1940 for political activism.

He led the African National Congress in an armed struggle against South Africa's apartheid system, under which only whites could vote. He was arrested and charged with treason in 1956. After a trial lasting five years, Mr Mandela was acquitted, but in 1964 he was jailed for life for sabotage.

He spent 27 years behind bars, including 18 on South Africa's infamous Robben Island. His eyesight was irreparably damaged while in prison and he contracted tuberculosis.

Freed in 1990, he won a Nobel Peace Prize and became South Africa's first black president in 1994. In office he won international respect for his advocacy of national reconciliation, and urged black South Africans to support the national rugby team, the Springboks - previously seen as a symbol of white power.

He memorably presented the trophy to the victorious Springboks captain, Francois Pienaar, when they won the Rugby World Cup in 1995. Mandela stepped down as leader in 1999, and retired from politics. He was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2001. He died in 2013, aged 95.

At least 100,000 people saw the former president's body lying in state in Pretoria, and tens of thousands attended a public memorial for "the father of the nation".