Myanmar to keep military veto, rejects Suu Kyi presidency

Parliament rejects proposals to allow Nobel peace prize laureate seek top office and military’s veto power remains intact

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Myanmar's parliament has rejected the proposed changes to the 2008 constitution that will allow Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi become president on Thursday, as well as curbing the military's veto power on key decisions.

The proposals fell short of the required 75 percent support but the results were not surprising as unelected members of the military hold a quarter of the assembly’s seats.

Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy (NLD) won the last free election in 1990 but the result ignored by the junta which ruled Myanmar for half a century until 2011.

She is banned from seeking presidency because her children and late husband are British citizens. NLD is expected to get most of the votes in planned November general elections.

Only one of the changes in proposed as a constitutional amendment was accepted on Tuesday, changing the word "military" to "defence" in a clause that says a presidential candidate should be "well-acquainted" with various affairs. The change must be approved in a public referendum.

The vote came after three days of debate in the parliament, in which military lawmakers gave a series of speeches to defend their political role to protect Myanmar's transition to democracy.

TRTWorld and agencies