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

    Video Rubio Looks to Surge in New Hampshire

    Republican presidential candidate has moved into second place in several recent surveys and appears to be gaining ground on longtime frontrunner Donald Trump

    UN Calls for Global Ban on Female Genital Mutilation

    Recent UNICEF report finds at least 200 million girls and women alive today have undergone female genital mutilation in 30 countries

    UN Pilots New Peace Approach in CAR

    Approach launched in northern town of Kaga Bandoro, where former combatants of mainly Muslim Seleka armed group and Christian and animist anti-Balaka movement are being paid to do community work

    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.
    German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibiti
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 05, 2016 4:30 PM
    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video Former Drug CEO Martin Shkreli Angers US Lawmakers

    A former U.S. pharmaceutical business executive has angered lawmakers by refusing to explain why he raised the price of a life-saving pill by 5,000 percent. Martin Shkreli was removed from a congressional hearing on Thursday after citing his Fifth Amendment right to stay silent. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Super Bowl TV Commercials are Super Business for Advertisers

    The Super Bowl, the championship clash between the two top teams in American Football, is the most-watched sporting event of the year, and advertisers are lining up and paying big bucks to get their commercials on the air. In fact, the TV commercials during the Super Bowl have become one of the most anticipated and popular features of the event. VOA's Brian Allen has a sneak peek of what you can expect to see when the big game goes to commercial break, and the real entertainment begins.
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Solar Innovation Provides Cheap, Clean Energy to Kenya Residents

    In Kenya, a company called M-Kopa Solar is providing clean energy to more than 300,000 homes across East Africa by allowing customers to "pay-as-you-go" via their cell phones. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from Kangemi, customers pay a small deposit for a solar unit and then pay less than a dollar a day to get clean energy to light up their homes or businesses.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Apprenticeships Put Americans on Path Back to Work

    Trying to get more people into the U.S. workforce, the Obama administration last year announced $175 million in grants towards apprenticeship programs. VOA White House correspondent Aru Pande went inside one training center outside of Washington that has gained national recognition for helping put people on the path to employment.
    Video

    Video New Material May Reduce Concussion Effects

    As the 2016 National Football League season reaches its summit at the Super Bowl this coming Sunday (2/7), scientists are trying to learn how to more effectively protect football players from dangerous and damaging concussions. Researchers at Cardiff and Cambridge Universities say their origami-based material may solve the problem. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Saudi Arabian Women's Sports Chip Away at Stereotypes

    Saudi Arabian female athletes say that sports are on the front line of busting traditions that quash women’s voices, both locally and internationally. In their hometown of Jeddah, a group of basketball players say that by connecting sports to health issues, they are encouraging women and girls to get out of their homes and participate in public life. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
    Video

    Video A Year Later, Fortunes Mixed for Syrians Forging New Lives in Berlin

    In April of last year, VOA followed the progress of six young Syrian refugees -- four brothers and their two friends -- as they made their way from Libya to Italy by boat, and eventually to Germany. Reporter Henry Ridgwell caught up with the refugees again in Berlin, as they struggle to forge new lives amid the turmoil of Europe's refugee crisis.
    Video

    Video Zika Virus May be Hard to Stop

    With the Zika virus spreading rapidly, the World Health Organization Monday declared Zika a global health emergency. As Alberto Pimienta reports, for many governments and experts, the worst is yet to come.