Myanmar's Aung San Suu Kyi calls for international help in bid to become president

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi and the chairman of Nepal's constituent assembly, Subhas Nerwang.
Myanmar's opposition leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, has called for international help in her campaign to become president.

Ms Suu Kyi is barred from running for president in next year's elections in Myanmar under the constitution, drafted by the military six years ago.

A parliamentary committee last week voted not to change the constitutional clause, which effectively bars Ms Suu Kyi from the post of president.

It has been reported that the vote was 26 to five.

The 2008 constitution blocks anyone from leading the country if their spouse or children are overseas citizens.

It is widely believed the clause is targeted at the Nobel laureate whose late husband, Michael Aris, and two sons are British-born.

Myanmar's charter also reserves a quarter of seats in parliament for unelected military personnel.

On a visit to Nepal, Ms Suu Kyi told parliamentarians at the Constituent Assembly that she wanted to participate in "genuine democratic elections - not just free, but fair".

Explaining her campaign to change Myanmar's constitution, she said fair elections mean a fair playing ground.

"The movement for constitutional amendment is gaining ground," she said.

"It is very important that all our friends from all over the world keep aware of the developments in Burma and [are] aware of the fact there are those who are trying to divert attention from genuine political needs."

Ms Suu Kyi was released from years of house arrest in 2010.

Parliamentary elections due in 2015

A quasi-civilian government, led by former general Thein Sein, has since pushed reforms that have ended sanctions and overturned Myanmar's status as a global pariah.

Parliamentary elections due to be held in 2015 are seen as a definitive test of whether the military is willing to loosen its grip on power.

The president is selected by the legislature and Ms Suu Kyi has declared her ambition to lead the country.

Ms Suu Kyi has intensified her campaign to amend the constitution with her National League for Democracy (NLD) party launching a petition last month seeking changes to the charter despite warnings from electoral officials.

Ms Suu Kyi will be awarded Nepal's top peace prize during her visit.

She first visited Nepal as a teenager in 1962 when her mother was ambassador to India and Nepal.

Ms Suu Kyi moved to Kathmandu in 1973 with her family and taught English at a Buddhist school for several months.


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