Monday, October 8, 2012

NLD to seek constitutional changes to allow Suu Kyi to serve as president

Monday, 08 October 2012 16:14 Mizzima News    

Aung San Suu Kyi said on Monday she would be willing to serve as Burma’s president and her political party would offer proposals to amend the Burmese Constitution to allow her to serve. Burma’s next election is in 2015.

Suu Kyi noted a current clause in the Constitution, which was drawn up by the former military regime, that effectively bans her from the post, because she has family members who are foreign citizens.

NLD chairman Aung San Suu Kyi holds a press conference to talk about her US trip at NLD headquarters in Bahan Township, Rangoon, on Monday, Oct. 8, 2012. Photo: Hein Htet / Mizzima

That is only one area of the Constitution that her political party would to try to change, she said, which would require the approval of the Parliament, according to a report by The Associated Press.

Under the current Constitution, a person cannot run for president in Burma, but is appointed with the consent of Parliament. Currently, former or serving military generals dominate the nominating process.

In her first press conference since she returned from a tour of the US last week, Suu Kyi said a priority of Burma’s government must be to upgrade the country's education and health care facilities to meet contemporary international standards, according to news agency reports.

Speaking at the National League for Democracy party's headquarters in Rangoon, she said the government must return Rangoon University to its former spot as a leading educational institution in Asia, along with other education institutions throughout the country. She called attention to the aging Yangon General Hospital, which was built under British rule, underscoring the need for more funds to be diverted to the health sector.

She also placed special emphasis on setting up professional institutes to train people who have little or no schooling.

Asked about a visit to China, she said that she would like to visit Burma’a largest neighbor, but no date has been scheduled.

She said her recent trip to the US was mainly to thank stakeholders there for their support of Burma over several decades, and she would work to foster good relations with both the US and Chinese governments.

Aung San Suu Kyi arrived back in Rangoon on Thursday after a 20-day historic visit to the United States, at a time when Burma-US relations are at an all-time high. The US has indicated it will remove import sanctions on Burmese products and this week President Barack Obama loosened restrictions on international financial institutions supporting Burma through renewed loans and development programs.

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