YANGON: Lawmakers amending Myanmar’s army-drafted constitution, which bars opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi from the presidency, should push on with democratic reforms, a notice in state media said yesterday.
A committee of parliamentarians, formed in June from members of the ruling party, army and opposition, was charged with “maintaining the pace of democratic transition driven by the state and its people”, said the announcement in the English language New Light of Myanmar.
In the first outline of the committee’s responsibilities the notice said “it shall give precedence to provisions that are conducive to the nation and as desired by the people over unprofitable and controversial provisions”.
MPs have until December 31 to produce their recommendations.
The constitution, which was written by the former junta more than a decade ago and approved by a nationwide referendum in 2008 soon after the country had been battered by a cyclone, is a major obstacle to Suu Kyi’s ambition to run for president in 2015 elections.
The document blocks anyone whose spouses or children are overseas citizens from leading the country, a clause widely believed to be targeted at the Nobel laureate whose two sons with her late husband Michael Aris are British.
It also guarantees that soldiers make up a quarter of the country’s parliament, which was formed in 2011 as a new quasi-civilian government came to power led by former generals.
The constitutional review committee, which was formed in June, is made up of 109 lawmakers including 52 from the ruling Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) party, 25 from the military and seven MPs from Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) party.