Myanmar's Aung San Suu Kyi seeks constitutional changes
Thursday, November 28, 2013 - 00:50
Nov. 28 - Myanmar's opposition leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, speaking in Australia, says she wants for run for presidency in Myanmar, and seeks constitutional changes. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
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ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION)
STORY: Myanmar's opposition leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, who is in Australia for a five-day visit as a guest of Australia's Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, spoke at the Lowy Institute for International Policy on Thursday (November 28).
The Nobel Peace Prize laureate has said she wants to run for the presidency of Myanmar and called for constitutional change.
Suu Kyi has said the current constitution stipulates that the president must have military experience, thus excluding women.
It also prevents 68-year-old Suu Kyi from running for the presidency in 2015 because it bans anyone who has children who are foreign citizens. Suu Kyi and her husband, the late British academic Michael Aris, have two children who are British.
Suu Kyi said she is optimistic that constitutional change will come.
"Why I say that the prospects are good is because the great majority of our people, now that they've begun to understand what the issue is about, are very much in favour of constitutional amendment. The great majority of them didn't know what was in the constitution when they were supposed to have voted for it in the referendum in 2008. In fact a lot of them did not vote for it, somehow the votes were counted but they didn't really vote. So, I do believe that with the majority of the people behind us we will be able to achieve these amendments, sooner or later, but as I keep saying, the sooner the better," she said.
Myanmar President Thein Sein, whose quasi-civilian government took power in March 2011 after nearly half a century of military rule, launched a series of political and economic reforms that helped break Myanmar's international isolation.
Suu Kyi, who spent 15 years under house arrest, was allowed back into politics and her National League for Democracy won a landslide victory in last year's parliamentary by-elections, giving her a seat in parliament.
The National League for Democracy lawmaker will also visit Melbourne and Canberra where she will meet Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott and make a number of public speeches.
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