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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs   21 October 2013  

Myanmar constitution must be changed before 2015 polls: Suu Kyi

BRUSSELS: Myanmar opposition leader Aung Suu Kyi on Saturday said the 2015 elections in her country will not be democratic without constitutional changes.

"The constitution must be amended," the Nobel laureate said as she met European Commission head Jose Manuel Barroso in Brussels. "If the constitution is not amended, the 2015 election cannot be free or fair."

Myanmar will hold parliamentary polls in 2015, with the new parliament then choosing a president and Suu Kyi has said she wants to run for the presidency.

The current Myanmar constitution, crafted under the former military regime, blocks Suu Kyi from becoming president as it excludes anyone whose spouses or children are foreign nationals from holding the post.

Suu Kyi's two sons are British nationals through their father, the late scholar Michael Aris.

Barroso said the 2015 elections "must be credible, transparent and inclusive."

Suu Kyi spent 15 years under house arrest under military rule in Myanmar, before she was freed after controversial elections in 2010.

The democracy icon is now an opposition lawmaker as part of sweeping reforms under a new quasi-civilian regime that took office in 2011.

She is meeting European leaders this weekend before heading to Luxembourg to pick up the European Union's main human rights prize that she won 23 years ago.

At a ceremony at the European Parliament in Strasbourg Tuesday, Suu Kyi will finally receive the Sakharov prize she won in 1990 at the height of the Myanmar military crackdown.

On Monday she is due to hold talks with the EU's 28 foreign ministers in Luxembourg.- AFP

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More






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