NLD to contest 2015 Election even if constitution’s article 59(F) not amended

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YANGON—Myanmar’s opposition party the National League for Democracy (NLD) will contest in the 2015 Election even if the Article 59 (F) of the Constitution that bars the party’s chairperson Aung San Suu Kyi from running for presidency is not amended, NLD spokespersons told a press conference on December 28.

The response came after some media reported, quoting Aung San Suu Kyi’s speech in Tharyarwady Township, Bago Region, that the NLD party would not contest the election if the Constitution is not amended.

“I will say clearly that we must contest the 2015 Election. Since from the beginning, the NLD is determined to contest it. There is no such thing that we will contest if it’s amended and won’t if not. It has already been decided,” NLD spokesperson Nyan Win said after the party’s central committee meeting.

Another NLD spokesperson MP Win Myint explained that Aung San Suu Kyi’s words “…one shouldn’t contest the election without amending the constitution…” does not mean the NLD would not contest the election but it means the ruling party, taking the upper hand without shame, should not contest the election.

Meanwhile, the NLD has submitted their suggestion to amend 168 points in the Constitution to the parliamentary joint committee on constitutional review, Nyan Win said. One of the constitutional clauses that the NLD suggested to amend is Article 59 (F) that bars anyone whose spouse or children are overseas citizens from leading the country— a clause widely believed to be targeted at Aung San Suu Kyi whose two sons are British.

Nyan Win added that the NLD needs to have more of its members in the parliament to be able to bring about constitutional amendments. He also expressed doubts over the 2015 Election, saying that it could become a free election but not a fair one. He said the NLD will strive best to achieve greater success in 2015 than in 2012 By-Election.

The NLD party led by Noble Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi had won a landslide election in 1990, but the former junta refused to transfer power then. In 2010, the NLD boycotted the general election in protest against the 2008 Constitution. In 2012 By-Election, it contested in 44 constituencies out of the total 45, and it won in 43 constituencies.

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