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Updated: June 7, 2013 12:17 IST

Suu Kyi hopes to be President

AP
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Aung San Suu Kyi
Aung San Suu Kyi

In her clearest statement yet of her political ambitions, Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi told international business and political leaders on Thursday that she hoped to become her country’s next President.

Delegates attending the Asian edition of the World Economic Forum in Myanmar’s capital heard visions of the country’s future from Ms. Suu Kyi and from the other key figure transforming it today, President Thein Sein.

“I want to run for President, and I am quite frank about it,” Ms. Suu Kyi said. “There are those who say that I shouldn’t say that I want to run for the presidency, but if I pretended that I don’t want to be, I wouldn’t be honest. And I want to be honest to my people.”

In 2012, Ms. Suu Kyi and several dozen members of her National League for Democracy party won parliamentary seats. However, a clause in the army-dictated Constitution disqualifies her from becoming President and would have to be amended before she could run. Ms. Suu Kyi will be 70 when the next general election is held in 2015.

Asked on Thursday if she was optimistic the Constitution would be changed to allow her to become President, she replied: “I don’t believe in indulging in optimism. Changes have to come by endeavour. We are going to work for the Constitution to be amended.”

When Myanmar’s opposition leader Suu Kyi tells that she hopes to become her country’s next President, many across the globe nod in acceptance, for, they are inspired by the compelling charm of her democratic principles. For the purpose, she plans to work for an amendment to the country’s constitution, so that it ignores the citizenship of her spouse and children. But one should not forget the fact that democracies survive within national boundaries and co-exist with different forms outside. Citizenship is therefore crucial for each country. Only a few people ever lived who truly exhibited world-citizen characteristics. Nor do such men and women live now or would live in future, in plenty. Equally to be taken into account is the citizenship of one’s spouse and children, as they influence each other to any extent. Even many leaders who are born and brought up in a country seldom show signs of patriotism, secularism and a national outlook. Many are influenced by their family. Therefore, the restrictive clauses in the Myanmar constitution, including that prohibits anyone there whose spouses and children are over-seas citizens from being appointed for the country’s top job, seem to have genuine reasons behind it, and cannot be interpreted to target the opposition leader only. In India too, we have sort of comparable situations. We are regularly feeling an Italian influence in our policies and programmes.

from:  P.R.V.Raja
Posted on: Jun 7, 2013 at 19:43 IST
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