News / Asia

    Burma's Suu Kyi Wants to be President in 2015

    Burma opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi smiles during a debate with Myanmar President's Office Minister Soe Thane at the World Economic Forum on East Asia at Myanmar International Convention Center in Naypyitaw, June 6, 2013.
    Burma opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi smiles during a debate with Myanmar President's Office Minister Soe Thane at the World Economic Forum on East Asia at Myanmar International Convention Center in Naypyitaw, June 6, 2013.
    VOA News
    Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she wants to become her country's next president in 2015, when national elections are planned as part of an ongoing transition from decades of military rule.

    The Nobel Peace Laureate spoke to delegates attending Thursday's World Economic Forum meeting in Burma's administrative capital, Naypyitaw. It was her most explicit comment about her political ambitions to date.

    "I want to run for president, and I am quite frank about it. If I pretended that I did not want to be president, I would not be honest. And I would rather be honest with my people than otherwise. But, the president is not directly elected. For me to be eligible for the post of the presidency, the constitution will have to be amended,'' she said.

    More political reforms needed

    Burma's longtime military rulers surrendered power in 2011, ushering in a civilian government which allowed Aung San Suu Kyi and members of her National League for Democracy party to win parliamentary seats in 2012 by-elections. She had previously endured 15 years of house arrest under military rule.

    But, the military-drafted Burmese constitution effectively disqualified her from the presidency by stating that anyone who serves in the post cannot have a spouse or children who are foreign nationals. Aung San Suu Kyi's two sons with her late husband Michael Aris are British. The constitution also requires the president to have military experience, which the opposition leader lacks.

    Speaking to reporters at the forum, Aung San Suu Kyi said amendments to major constitutional clauses need more than 75 percent approval in both houses of parliament, where one quarter of lawmakers are unelected military representatives. She said the amendments then would have to be approved in a referendum by more than 50 percent of eligible voters.

    "As I keep saying, at least one brave soldier must say 'I will side with the civilian representatives.' And I think it was in an RAF [Royal Air Force] outfit somewhere I heard that during the second world war they had a motto which was that we do the impossible every day. Miracles take a little longer," she said.

    Aung San Suu Kyi's popularity in Burma has caused her to overshadow incumbent President Thein Sein, a former general who also addressed the forum on Thursday. He said his government is "working hard to move from military rule to democracy" and is committed to other goals such as ending ethnic conflicts and reforming the economy.

    Job creation is top priority

    In her news conference, Aung San Suu Kyi responded to a question from VOA's Burmese service about unemployment by saying the creation of new jobs is the top priority expressed by people across the country.

    "They want work, they don't want handouts," she said. "They want the dignity of being able to work for their own living. Number one is jobs, number two is water, number three is roads, number four is electricity, number five is education, number six is health. This is repeated everywhere, everywhere. And so jobs are a priority, especially jobs for our youth."

    She said that in her constituency of Kawmhu, near the Burmese commercial capital Rangoon, graduate unemployment stands at 75 percent, a figure that is close to the national average. The NLD leader said that if young unemployed people lose hope in the future, they will become a social problem for the country.

    You May Like

    Clinton, Trump and the 'Woman’s Card'

    Ask supporters of Democratic front-runner in US presidential campaign, and they’ll tell you Republican presidential candidate is playing a dangerous hand

    Russian Censorship Group Seeks Chinese Help to Better Control Internet

    At recent Safe Internet League forum in Moscow, speakers from both nations underscored desire for authorities to further limit and control information online

    Video Makeshift Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Free classes in Islamabad park serve a few of the country’s nearly 25 million out-of-school youths; NGO cites ‘education crisis’

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: John
    June 17, 2013 7:22 PM
    If you like to create jobs by opening factories, you will need roads, high ways, a good infrastructure to transport the goods factories will produce. So you will need roads before jobs will come. Development always follows transportation.

    She is an ideologist. Still have much to prove if she can provide the mechanics that will improve our way of living.


    by: Joseph from: Chicago
    June 07, 2013 7:15 PM
    Good for Myanmar(Burma). She is sane and wise. She has struggled for democracy and freedom unlike the the present ruler who is a ex general who has only brought lawlessness, corruption, persecution of minorities, killings, lootings, burnings and ethnic cleansing. International community should stop the Buddhist monks in orange frocks from committing crimes against other communities where even christians(Kacin) and muslims are prosecuted. Buddhist countries have produced gangs like Khmer Rouge famous for their killing fields (1.7 million killed), Sri Lanka a Buddhist country full of buddhist monks instigated violence against minority Tamils, Japanese violence against West in WW1 and 2, Ongoing killings among Buddhists instigated by buddhist monks for a old Buddhist Temple on the borders of Laos and Thailand speak volumes against these so called Non violent Buddhist monks and their followers.

    by: Anonymous
    June 06, 2013 1:37 PM
    Is there anyone who didn't see this coming? Just sayin'

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora