Official: Suu Kyi ‘eligible for president’

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Aung San Suu Kyi
Aung San Suu Kyi

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi may be able to run for presidential office in the 2015 election following an announcement made by Aung Min, a minister in the President’s Office, that the reformist government plans to amend the constitution to allow her bid.

Aung Min made the statement during a visit to the US, where he received a peace award on April 29 from the International Crisis Group on behalf of President Thein Sein, who had just finished rounds of meetings at the ASEAN Summit.

The 2008 Constitution contains a clause that forbids any Myanmar citizen to run for presidential office if he/she has married a foreigner. This much-critisised law would be amended to make Suu Kyi eligible for office, Aung Min told a crowd of the Myanmar community in the US, the US-based Radio Free Asia reported in its Burmese edition.

The claim made by Aung Min was, however, has been dismissed by members of the majority ruling Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP), a former military junta-backed party.

Htay Oo, vice chairman of the USDP, was quoted by the Irrawaddy as saying that his party had no plans to amend the constitution at this stage.

“Our party has not considered yet to review the Constitution,” he said. “We ‘cannot do it even if we wish to do it.”

The publically visible disconnect in interpretations over the position of the government furthermore displays an internal division in Thein Seins’ reformist government, which is facing an uphill battle with entrenched military generals.

Last month, parliament announced that it would be setting up a committee of law experts and intellectuals to review the constitution and provide recommendations. The committee is expected to begin talks in June.

In recent months, Suu Kyi, once unsolicitedly idolised throughout the country, has come under fire for her timid stance on ethnic conflict against Muslim Rohingya minorities in the country’s western Rakhine State.

Suu Kyi was freed from house arrest in 2010 and holds a seat in Myanmar’s parliament, a position she secured in elections in 2012.

 

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

Aung San Suu Kyi

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi may be able to run for presidential office in the 2015 election following an announcement made by Aung Min, a minister in the President’s Office, that the reformist government plans to amend the constitution to allow her bid.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Aung San Suu Kyi
Aung San Suu Kyi

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi may be able to run for presidential office in the 2015 election following an announcement made by Aung Min, a minister in the President’s Office, that the reformist government plans to amend the constitution to allow her bid.

Aung Min made the statement during a visit to the US, where he received a peace award on April 29 from the International Crisis Group on behalf of President Thein Sein, who had just finished rounds of meetings at the ASEAN Summit.

The 2008 Constitution contains a clause that forbids any Myanmar citizen to run for presidential office if he/she has married a foreigner. This much-critisised law would be amended to make Suu Kyi eligible for office, Aung Min told a crowd of the Myanmar community in the US, the US-based Radio Free Asia reported in its Burmese edition.

The claim made by Aung Min was, however, has been dismissed by members of the majority ruling Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP), a former military junta-backed party.

Htay Oo, vice chairman of the USDP, was quoted by the Irrawaddy as saying that his party had no plans to amend the constitution at this stage.

“Our party has not considered yet to review the Constitution,” he said. “We ‘cannot do it even if we wish to do it.”

The publically visible disconnect in interpretations over the position of the government furthermore displays an internal division in Thein Seins’ reformist government, which is facing an uphill battle with entrenched military generals.

Last month, parliament announced that it would be setting up a committee of law experts and intellectuals to review the constitution and provide recommendations. The committee is expected to begin talks in June.

In recent months, Suu Kyi, once unsolicitedly idolised throughout the country, has come under fire for her timid stance on ethnic conflict against Muslim Rohingya minorities in the country’s western Rakhine State.

Suu Kyi was freed from house arrest in 2010 and holds a seat in Myanmar’s parliament, a position she secured in elections in 2012.

 

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