Suu Kyi signals threat to boycott 2015 election

Suu Kyi signals threat to boycott 2015 election

MYANMAR opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi has suggested for the first time that a boycott of the 2015 election may be on the cards unless her demands to amend an "undemocratic" Constitution are heeded.

The 2008 Constitution, which had been drafted by the military regime in power then, essentially bars her from running for president because she married a foreigner. As 25 per cent of the seats in Parliament are reserved for the military, its support is needed for any constitutional changes.

"One should not take part in a competition which was arranged to give one side an advantage," Ms Suu Kyi told a crowd of about 30,000 near Yangon on Sunday.

"There will be no fair elections with the current Constitution... If we join, we will have no dignity in the people's eyes," she added.

Her comments raised the stakes in the 2015 election, which is seen as a critical watershed in Myanmar's democratic transition.

The National League for Democracy leader has been ramping up calls to amend the Constitution.

During her most recent overseas trip, she said in a speech in Sydney on Nov 27 that armed forces chief Min Aung Hlaing in effect decides on whether the Constitution could be amended.

"The commander-in-chief decides whether or not the Constitution can be amended," she said. "How can you call a Constitution democratic when it can be amended or not amended in accordance with one in an unelected post?"

Her push for constitutional changes is a test for the military, which has tried to carefully calibrate the transition to democracy. Most ministers are former military officers.

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