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Monday, November 24, 2014

Suu Kyi: Myanmar opposition will Push Constitutional Amendment

 Aung San Suu Kyi
Suu Kyi: Myanmar opposition will Push Constitutional Amendment

The articles of the current constitution of Myanmar, Aung San Suu Kyi prohibit contesting the presidential election next year.

Myanmar's opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi said she and her supporters will keep pushing for an amendment on the articles of the constitution which forbids fighting in Myanmar next year's presidential election.

In an interview with VOA ekskusif Sunday (23/11), winner of the Nobel Prize Peace said it was important for him and his supporters to continue to lobby for change.

  "We never expected it would have been easy, but believe that this might be done. The question is when? If we can change this constitution earlier, it would be better for this country. We need the courage and the ability to change what is needed in order to better the condition of the country, "said Suu Kyi.

Suu Kyi also said that his party, the National League for Democracy (NLD), is also ready to represent all citizens of Myanmar to speak out about this.

"Why do we not hold a referendum in the whole country? We are very ready for it. In this way, we can find out the views of others as well, "added Suu Kyi.

Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmar's military chief responded to the statement that Aung Hlaing NLD underestimate the effort to collect five million signatures in order to amend the constitution.

In an exclusive interview with VOA Saturday (22/11), General Myanmar said articles of the constitution in question was not directed at Aung San Suu Kyi.

"This restriction is not directed at an individual or group or ethnic group, but covers the whole country. Another problem is that we have to consider the situation that existed since pre-independence period, and we had so many problems of immigration because we are a country that has a very dense population, "said General Hlaing.

Article in question is forbidden for anyone to become president if they have a spouse (husband or wife) or children who are foreign nationals. Aung San Suu Kyi was barred because his two sons are British citizens. Her late husband also British citizens.

When asked if he might hold a private meeting with Aung San Suu Kyi, General Aung Hlaing said such talks with the NLD leader "difficult", saying his political intentions may not be the same. But he added that he did not rule out the possibility of the meeting, saying the meeting may be held if necessary.

For the first time the commander of the armed forces who are very influential reportedly had a meeting with Aung San Suu Kyi last month in a conversation that never happened before with 14 competitors political and military leaders of Myanmar. The talks have sparked a determination to discuss political reform and peace talks.

But many opposition leaders denounced the meeting to avoid meaningful dialogue.

Aung San Suu Kyi later demanded a four-party meeting with President Thein Sein, General Hlaing and Speaker of the House. But President Thein Sein seems to dismiss this idea in an interview with VOA on Thursday (20/11) at his residence.

"The talk is a good way to find a political solution, but if it is only done by the four of us, not inclusive enough", said President Thein Sein.

Thein Sein - former generals retired 69-year-old - has become the president of Myanmar since 2011, after serving as prime minister for four years. Previous Myanmar actually been under military rule for nearly fifty years - from 1962 to 2010.

Thein Sein told VOA, he has not decided whether to return to fight for a second term or not. (VOA)

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