RANGOON — A spokesperson for the National League for Democracy (NLD) has expressed confidence that the party’s chairwoman could accomplish the enormous feat of amending Burma’s Constitution and assuming the presidency within five years.
Aung San Suu Kyi, the leader of the opposition party that won a landslide victory in the Nov. 8 election, is barred from the job due to a constitutional clause believed to have been written expressly to preclude her.
“I believe we can amend the Constitution,” said party spokesperson Win Htein, speaking to Radio Free Asia’s Burmese service on Tuesday.
Win Htein said that two key provisions stand in the way of a Suu Kyi presidency: 59(f), which bars her from the post, and 436, which grants the military veto power over amendments to parts of the charter.
“After we handle both, I believe we can handle it,” Win Htein said. “Within five years, Suu Kyi can be the president.”
The NLD won an absolutely majority in the recent parliamentary election, granting it the power to put forth two presidential candidates. It is unclear who will be selected as the party’s nominees, but Suu Kyi is ineligible because her late husband and two children are British citizens.
As the party’s undisputed leader, Suu Kyi has said that she will be “above the president” once a new government is formed.
On Wednesday, Suu Kyi met with outgoing President Thein Sein and Burma Army chief Snr-Gen Min Aung Hlaing to discuss the transfer of power.
Win Htein said he expected Suu Kyi to discuss constitutional amendment with the commander-in-chief “for long-term benefits,” though the topic did not appear to dominate her morning meeting with Thein Sein.
President’s spokesperson Ye Htut told reporters shortly after the meeting that the conversation focused on stability throughout the transfer of power and that other issues such as constitutional reform were not discussed.