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    » 06/07/2013, 00.00

    MYANMAR

    Aung San Suu Kyi announces her candidacy for the presidency of Myanmar



    The 67-year-old leader of the democratic opposition, who spent 15 of the past 21 years under house arrest, confirms her intention to run in 2015. However, to do so, the constitution must be amended; a difficult task since parliament is still in the hands of the military.

    Yangon (AsiaNews/Agencies) - "I want to run for president and I'm quite frank about it," Myanmar's opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi said.

    Speaking on a panel at the World Economic Forum (WEF) on East Asia in the Burmese capital of Naypyidaw, the 67-year-old Nobel laureate confirmed her intention to run for the country's highest office in the next election in 2015, admitting for the first time that she wants to challenge the current president, Thein Sein and the other candidates vying for the post.

    "If I pretended that I didn't want to be president, I wouldn't be honest, and I would rather be honest with my people than otherwise," the National League for Democracy (NLD) leader said. However, "for me to be eligible for the post of the presidency, the constitution will have to be amended," she acknowledged.

    Under the 2008 constitution, drawn up by the military (who retained power until 2011), anyone with a spouse or children who are citizens of another country cannot run for president.

    Ms Suu Kyi was married to British academic Michael Aris, who died in 1999, and has two sons who hold British passports, and so cannot run.

    For this reason, the NLD wants to amend the most controversial parts of the Constitution, not an easy task since changes require a 75 per cent majority in a parliament where one quarter of all these seats are reserved for the military.

    Hence, Myanmar's main opposition party has its work cut out if it wants to ensure that its leader is eligible.

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    See also

    13/02/2010 MYANMAR
    Deputy of Aung San Suu Kyi to be freed today
    Tin Oo, 83, has been imprisoned since 2003. The National League of Democracy waits for him to assess whether or not to participate in elections in the country to be held this year, even if they will ensure power to the junta.

    26/10/2013 MYANMAR
    Thein Sein's decision not to run paves the way for a challenge between Aung San Suu Kyi and Shwe Mann in 2015
    Myanmar's current president will not seek a second mandate and will leave active politics, Lower House Speaker Shwe Mann said in announcing his decision to replace him, likely against opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi. However, the constitution will have to be amended if the Nobel Prize laureate wants run for the highest office. Meanwhile, reforms are "very slow".

    13/08/2010 MYANMAR
    Junta sets the date for election-charade: November 7
    The first after 20 years. The junta is confident of victory because it has eliminated competition from Aung San Suu Kyi and political opponents. Military guaranteed 25% of seats in parliament.

    04/09/2007 MYANMAR
    National convention ends after 14 years
    Opened in 1993 the convention was supposed to be the first step on the roadmap to democracy, laying down basic guidelines to draft a new constitution. Human rights activists and opposition members warn it is a ruse to allow the military to hang onto power.

    25/01/2010 MYANMAR
    Aung San Suu Kyi released at end of her sentence in November, Myanmar minister says
    Home Affairs Minister Maung Oo announces opposition leader’s release. This will bar her from taking part in the election called by the military junta. Ms Suu Kyi will purge her entire sentence. An opposition leader says the announcement is “nothing new or extraordinary.”



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