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

    Russia Sees Brexit Impact Widespread but Temporary

    Officials, citizens react to Britain’s vote to exit European Union with mix of pleasure, understanding and concern

    Obama Encourages Entrepreneurs to Seek Global Interconnection

    President tells entrepreneurs at global summit at Stanford University to find mentors, push ahead with new ideas on day after Britain voters decide to exit EU

    Video Some US Gun Owners Support Gun Control

    Defying the stereotype, Dave Makings says he'd give up his assault rifle for a comprehensive program to reduce gun violence

    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.
    Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Unchartered Territoryi
    X
    June 24, 2016 9:38 PM
    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Unchartered Territory

    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Experts: Very Few Killed in US Gun Violence Are Victims of Mass Shootings

    The deadly shooting at a Florida nightclub has reignited the debate in the U.S. over gun control. Although Congress doesn't provide government health agencies funds to study gun violence, public health experts say private research has helped them learn some things about the issue. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
    Video

    Video Trump Unleashes Broadside Against Clinton to Try to Ease GOP Doubts

    Recent public opinion polls show Republican Donald Trump slipping behind Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election matchup for November. Trump trails her both in fundraising and campaign organization, but he's intensifying his attacks on the former secretary of state. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.
    Video

    Video Florida Gets $1 Million in Emergency Government Funding for Orlando

    The U.S. government has granted $1 million in emergency funding to the state of Florida to cover the costs linked to the June 12 massacre in Orlando. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the grant Tuesday in Orlando, where she met with survivors of the shooting attack that killed 49 people. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video How to Print Impossible Shapes with Metal

    3-D printing with metals is rapidly becoming more advanced. As printers become more affordable, the industry is partnering with universities to refine processes for manufacturing previously impossible things. A new 3-D printing lab aims to bring the new technology closer to everyday use. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Big Somali Community in Minnesota Observes Muslim Religious Feast

    Ramadan is widely observed in the north central US state of Minnesota, which a large Muslim community calls home. VOA Somali service reporter Mohmud Masadde files this report from Minneapolis, the state's biggest city.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora