Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi on Thursday declared her intention to run for president, calling for all of the country’s people to share the fruits of its dramatic reforms.
Addressing the World Economic Forum (WEF) on East Asia in the capital Naypyidaw, the Nobel Peace laureate appealed for the amendment of the military-drafted constitution which prevents her from leading the country.
“I want to run for president and I’m quite frank about it,” the veteran democracy activist told delegates, as she sets her sights on elections due to be held in 2015.
“If I pretended that I didn’t want to be president I wouldn’t be honest,” she added.
The current constitution blocks anyone whose spouses or children are overseas citizens from being appointed by parliament for the top job.
Suu Kyi’s two sons with her late husband Michael Aris are British and the clause is widely believed to be targeted at the Nobel laureate.
Changing certain parts of the text requires the support of more than 75 per cent of the members of the fledgling parliament, one quarter of whom are unelected military officials, she noted.
President Thein Sein’s quasi-civilian government has surprised the world since coming to power two years ago with dramatic political and economic changes that have led to the lifting of most Western sanctions.
Hundreds of political prisoners have been freed, democracy champion Suu Kyi has been welcomed into a new parliament and tentative ceasefires have been reached in the country’s multiple ethnic civil wars.