Myanmar’s Union Parliament speaker has said that a section of the 2008 Constitution describing presidential qualifications needs to be amended so that a free and fair election can take place in 2015.
Speaker Thura Shwe Mann, also chairman of the ruling Union Solidarity and Development Party, was replying to a reporter’s question during a media conference in Nay Pyi Taw on Thursday.
The reporter asked whether there would be any possibility of a presidential race between Shwe Mann and Aung San Suu Kyi, both of whom have expressed their desire to run for president.
“I just want to say that we need to amend the Constitution to ensure a free and fair election, because Article 59 (f) of the charter bars (Suu Kyi from becoming the president),” said the speaker.
He said that the Union Parliament has set up a constitutional review joint committee and that those political parties and military MPs are studying and reviewing the constitution. Whether the constitution should be amended or not will be decided by all those concerned, based on their knowledge and wisdom, Shwe Mann added.
Article 59 (f) says that anyone who has a spouse or children who are foreign citizens shall not be eligible for the presidency or vice-presidency. Suu Kyi’s late husband was a British citizen, as are her two sons.