Suu Kyi says she will lead gov't if party wins Myanmar polls

Most observers believe Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy party will win the most seats in the country’s parliament.

October 07, 2015 06:58 pm | Updated November 16, 2021 05:01 pm IST - Yangon

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi said on Wednesday if her party wins upcoming elections she will lead the country from behind the scenes, circumventing a clause in the constitution that bars her from the presidency.

If the November 8 vote is credible, most observers believe Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy party will win the most seats in the country’s parliament.

By forming a coalition with smaller parties, it could control a majority.

A clause in the 2008 constitution, drafted when the country was under military rule, prevents Suu Kyi from taking the top job because her late husband and two children are British.

There are no obvious alternatives within her party’s ranks. “I’ve made it quite clear that if the NLD wins the elections and we form a government, I’m going to be the leader of that government whether or not I’m the president,” Suu Kyi told Indian television channel India Today TV.

“Why not?” she asked with a smile. “Do you have to be a president in order to lead a country?”

Myanmar began moving from a half-century of military rule toward democracy in 2011. Though there are many concerns, including the exclusion of a million ethnic Rohingya Muslim voters, most observers believe next month’s election is the best chance the country has had in decades for free and credible polls.

Under the constitution, however, the military will hold 25 percent of the seats in parliament regardless of the outcome of the vote.

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