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Thein Sein ‘would accept’ Suu Kyi as president


Burmese President Thein Sein said he would accept Aung San Suu Kyi as the president of Burma, if the people voted for her. He made his remark on the BBC interview program “Hardtalk” on Friday.

Aung San Suu Kyi visits with Burmese President Thein Sein at The Mark Hotel in New York on Tuesday, September 25, 2012. Photo: President's office
Aung San Suu Kyi visits with Burmese President Thein Sein at The Mark Hotel in New York on Tuesday, September 25, 2012. Photo: President's office 
But he said he could not act alone to remove the Constitutional barriers now baring her from the presidency. Burma's Constitution prohibits those with close foreign relatives from holding high office and Suu Kyi, who married a British academic, has two sons living in the West.

“I alone cannot change the Constitution,” he said. “This depends on the wish of the people and also the wishes of the members of parliament.”

Whether the powerful military would agree to open up the Constitution for proposed changes is doubtful, say observers.

Thein Sein said the will of the people would be respected whomever they chose in the 2015 national elections. Earlier, this week Thein Sein said he might be open to a second term in office, if the people decided he should run.

He reiterated his commitment to the country's reform programme, and said he and Suu Kyi were working together.

“Whether she will become a leader of the nation depends on the will of the people,” Thein Sein said. “If the people accept her, then I will have to accept her.”

“There isn't any problem between me and Aung San Suu Kyi. We are working together.”

But he added that the army, which retains many of the seats in parliament, would continue to play a central role in the country's politics.

Suu Kyi was kept under house arrest for 15 years and repeatedly denounced by the former regime.
Last Updated ( Monday, 01 October 2012 12:39 )  

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