Suu Kyi 'won't boycott poll'

YANGON - Myanmar's opposition party vowed on Saturday to contest elections in 2015 even if the constitution is not amended to allow Aung San Suu Kyi to become president.

The military-drafted charter blocks anyone whose spouse or children are overseas citizens from leading the country -- a clause widely believed to be targeted at the Nobel laureate whose two sons are British.

The constitution also reserves a quarter of the seats in parliament for unelected military personnel.

Aung San Suu Kyi has repeatedly warned that the charter must be changed to allow democracy to take root in the country, and there had been speculation her party might even boycott the 2015 parliamentary polls.

But a spokesman for her National League for Democracy (NLD) said after a party meeting on Saturday that the opposition would take part even without a constitutional amendment.

"We must compete in the 2015 election whatever," he told reporters, adding that the NLD was aiming for an even bigger victory than in landmark byelections in 2012 when Suu Kyi and her party entered parliament.

In Myanmar parliament chooses the president.

The fledgling legislature is dominated by the military and its political allies so an election victory would make it easier for the NLD to push for a constitutional amendment.

The NLD was founded in 1988 after a popular uprising against the military junta that left thousands dead.

Two years later, the party won elections in a landslide -- but the results were never recognised by the regime.

Suu Kyi was under house arrest at the time and spent much of the following two decades in detention, until she was freed after controversial elections in 2010 that her party boycotted.

President Thein Sein's reformist government has since overseen dramatic political and economic reforms, leading to the lifting of most Western sanctions.

A parliamentary panel is now reviewing the constitution and is expected to report its recommendations at the end of January.

Share your thoughts

Discussion 1 : 29/12/2013 at 11:53 AM
what an example suu kyi is to politicians and people in general!
Discussion 2 : 29/12/2013 at 09:44 AM
The two situations are quite different, in recent years Myanmar has made big and courage moves forward in democracy but still has a long way to go to square up to regional peers. The democratic system under Thaksin has regressed, notwithstanding the coup which was a misguided attempt to rectify that. Money politics may one day thwart the NLD's efforts. Abhisit is talking a bold move to force much needed reform for the betterment of all Thais, not least the poor, he is much closer to Suu kyi in 'democratic values' than Thaksin or Yingluck.
Discussion 3 : 29/12/2013 at 09:38 AM
Ironic, isn't it? Who would have thought this a few decades ago where Burma is heading while dear Thailand is sliding back...
Discussion 4 : 28/12/2013 at 11:26 PM
Telling us you really believe your dear Thaksin is a true disciple of Ghandi and Mandela would very much disqualify your opinion, and as Thaksin said that himself, and as you are a dedicated follower of his (un-)holy word... ;-)) Also, I don't think the quality of what you write about Thai topics really shows the necessary qualifications to express an opinion about the intricate situation in Burma. Oh, and I believe Abhisit actually is a true democrat, sadly for him, as Thailand is a political quagmire. As for being a good judge of being a true democrat, your PT sympathies, alas, really don't play in your favour...
Discussion 5 : 28/12/2013 at 08:03 PM
Suthep can draw hope from Suu Kyi's stand for political reform.
Discussion 6 : 28/12/2013 at 07:33 PM
Suu Kyi really put Ahbisit to shame with her comment. Her odds are stacked higher than a whiner like him. She is a true democrat.

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