Suu Kyi’s Presidential Bid Not Dead Yet: NLD

By Zarni Mann 13 June 2014

MANDALAY — There is still hope for opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi to become president, her National League for Democracy (NLD) party says, after a parliamentary committee said it would not endorse amendments to a constitutional article that currently blocks her from the post.

The Constitutional Amendment Implementation Committee, tasked with making recommendations to Parliament before lawmakers vote on amendments, says it believes there should be no change to Article 59(F), which bars Suu Kyi from Burma’s top post.

But lawmakers are not bound to follow the committee’s recommendations, meaning that Suu Kyi’s presidential bid is not dead yet.

“According to law, Parliament has to make a decision about this amendment, with votes from the parliamentarians,” party spokesman Nyan Win told The Irrawaddy.

“Since the decision [not to endorse an amendment] was made only by the committee, it is too early for us to comment. We need to wait and see the decision of the Parliament and the parliamentarians.”

On June 6, only five members of the 31-member Constitutional Amendment Implementation Committee voted to endorse changes to Article 59(f), according to a committee member from the ruling Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP).

The committee comprises seven unelected military lawmakers, 15 USDP lawmakers, two NLD lawmakers and eight lawmakers from other political parties.

Article 59(F) is controversial because it states that a president cannot have a spouse or children who are foreign nationals. Suu Kyi’s two sons from her marriage to the late scholar Michael Aris are British nationals.