"Amendable parts" should go first: Suu Kyi

NAY PYI TAW, Myammar - National League for Democracy chairperson Aung San Suu Kyi says the 2008 Constitution can and should be amended starting with its weakest, or most amendable, parts.

The opposition leader was responding on Thursday (March 13) to reporters who raised questions about the constitutional review committee's decision to prioritise sections under Article 436 (b) to be amended, excluding the military chapter and Articles 436 and 59 (f).

"The amendable parts should be prioritised. There is no certainty of achieving 100 per cent of the proposed changes, as everyone expects. Parliament will discuss the suggestions and ultimately decide," she said.

During the NLD's public talks across the country about the constitutional amendment, Suu Kyi said that the military chapter, and Articles 436 and 59 (f), of the constitution are undemocratic.

She added that public opinion about the amendments should not be neglected and cooperation from the military and administrative sectors is needed. On February 3, she told local media that the possibility of the NLD winning the coming general election might be one of the reasons there has been resistance on the government side to amending Article 59 (f). The parliament, she said, should be watched over to see whether or not its future actions meet the people's desires.

Suu Kyi met with President Thein Sein for a fifth time on Sunday evening (March 9) in Nay Pyi Taw, but no details were released about their meeting.

On Wednesday (March 12), it was reported that she met with the president and two parliamentary chairpersons. But reports say it was just a routine meeting between the president, the commander-in-chief, the parliamentary chairpersons and advisers from the ruling party. Suu Kyi also confirmed that she did not take part in the meeting.

The joint constitutional review committee submitted its report about the amendments to the parliament on January 31. The committee, which consisted of 31 MPs including 14 from the ruling party and two from NLD, was established with a policy to have the constitution amended at least six months before the 2015 general election.