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Suu Kyi is willing to be president

Thein Sein says it depends on the people

Suu Kyi announced her willingness in a press conference at the party HQ Suu Kyi announced her willingness in a press conference at the party HQ
  • Thomas Toe, Yangon
  • Myanmar
  • October 9, 2012
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Opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi has revealed her willingness to be president of Myanmar, if it accords with the wishes of the public and her party.

“A leader of a political party must have the courage to be a president," she told a press conference in Yangon yesterday. "As I’m the leader of a political party, if the public chooses me, I have to be brave enough.”

A clause in the 2008 constitution currently prevents her from taking the office as it requires the spouse and immediate family of the president to be Myanmar citizens. Her late husband was a foreigner, as are her two sons who live outside the country.

The clause could be amended before the next election in 2015, but Suu Kyi emphasized that the correct procedures must be observed in parliament.

“We will keep working for the amendment but not only for me. There are other things that need to be amended," she said.

“We have a lot to do in our country. A few years ago, the economy was a mess, the education system was nothing to speak of, the health system had broken down and nothing was going right in the country.

“We have lost a generation of qualified people because of the education system and we must try our best to overcome all these challenges.”

In a recent interview with the BBC, Myanmar's reformist president Thein Sein signaled that he would accept her presidency.

“"Whether she will become a leader of the nation depends on the will of the people," he said. "If the people accept her, then I will have to."

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