YANGON – Amendments to Myanmar’s military-drafted 2008 constitution are likely to be pushed through before the 2015 general election, democracy champion Aung San Suu Kyi said on Friday.
“We will try to amend the constitution before 2015 and we hope we can do it,” Suu Kyi told a news conference.
The Nobel Peace Prize laureate, who spent 15 years under house arrest between 1989 to 2010, became a member of parliament after she and her National League for Democracy (NLD) party won 43 out of 45 contested seats in a byelection in April, 2012.
Suu Kyi has cultivated close working relationships with Predident Thein Sein and Lower House speaker Shwe Mann, deemed the two most powerful figures in Myanmar’s still pro-military regime.
Thein Sein heads the Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP), which is packed with ex-military men and leads the government after winning the November 2010.
“I believe the ruling party, USDP, also wants to amend the constitution because the important issues to review the charter were submitted by senior members of USDP and were approved without any disagreement,” Suu Kyi said.
The most controversial clause in the 2008 constitution gives the military establishment the right to appoint 25% of the seats in parliament, enough to veto any laws deemed detrimental to the military’s long-established control over the country.
Myanmar was ruled by a military dictatorships between 1962 to 2010.
Suu Kyi acknowledged that amending the constitution would be “difficult”. Myanmar’s next general election is scheduled for 2015.
The current charter would exclude Suu Kyi, who was married to a British national, from contesting for the presidency.