Suu Kyi in Myanmar election boycott threat

LINDSAY MURDOCH
Last updated 15:23 18/12/2013
Aung San Suu Kyi
Getty Images
CLEAR FAVOURITE: With Aung San Suu Kyi as their presidential candidate, the NLD would be the clear favourite to win the election.

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Myanmar's opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi has warned her party will boycott general elections in 2015 if the constitution is not changed to allow her to run for president.

"One should not take part in a competition which was arranged to give one side an advantage," Ms Suu Kyi said in a speech posted on her Facebook page that raises the stakes around the election and the country's emergence from decades of military rule.

Politicians who "possess moral dignity" should not participate in the vote, she said.

Ms Suu Kyi, a pro-democracy advocate and the country's most popular politician, who spent 15 years under house arrest, is banned from running for president under the 2008 constitution because she was married to a foreigner, Michael Aris, a British academic who died in 1999.

Myanmar's military-dominated government in July formed a 109-member parliamentary committee to review the constitution, but only seven members of Ms Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy sit on it.

The military controls 25 per cent of the seats in parliament.

Military leaders have not indicated whether they will support Ms Suu Kyi's bid to be able to run in the election, which is  seen as a crucial test in the country's progress towards democracy.

With Ms Suu Kyi as presidential candidate, the NLD would be the clear favourite to win the election.

Ms Suu Kyi made the comments in front of a cheering crowd in Tharyawaddy, north of Yangon, one of several rallies the NLD has organised across the country that is also called Burma.

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- Sydney Morning Herald

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