Myanmar’s opposition leader Suu Kyi has announced she wants to lead the country if her party National League for Democracy(NLD) wins the upcoming parliamentary elections, despite a ban on her serving as president.
“If the NLD wins the elections and we form a government, I am going to be the leader of that government whether or not I am the president. Why not?” she said in an interview by the India Today TV, on Wednesday.
“Do you have to be president in order to lead a country?” asked Suu Kyi whose NLD party is expected to have the polls.
Aung San Suu Kyi, married to a British and having two British sons, said, “the constitution will have to change to allow civilian authorities to have the necessary democratic authority over the armed forces.”
“I am sure they won’t like it. I don’t expect them to like it, but I do believe there are many members of the army who want what is best for the country and if we can agree with one another what would be best for the country then we can come to the arrangement.”
The 70-year-old Nobel peace prize winner of 1991 said the elections would be "the most important election in the history of independent Burma," using Myanmar’s former name.
In Myanmar, reportedly a country of 55 million, there are about 30 million people eligible to vote and 90 parties registered to contest.
Although Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy is expected to win the polls, the military, however, is guaranteed a quarter of the seats under the constitution it drafted.
Suu Kyi’s party won by a landslide in a national election in 1990, but the outcome of the election was ignored by the military which also kept Suu Kyi under house arrest for 15 years.
The military in Myanmar supported ruling Union Solidarity and Development Party which swept the polls in 2010.
In her interview, she said, “I hope I win the elections 100% to see what I have in my mind,” while also blaming the ruling party cracking down on the press.
“They have been cracking down on the press since about a year ago, and there are a few journals and news weeklies that are bravely carrying on the fight but a lot of our media are learning to self-censor to a certain extent,” Aung San Suu Kyi said on Wednesday’s interview also expressing her concerns about the electoral roll and the political sympathies of the election commissioner.
Aung San Suu Kyi then called the world to keep its eye on the country after the November 8 elections.
In the interview, the politician rejected criticism that she has not taken the sectarian violence in her country into enough consideration, especially the attacks on the Rohingya Muslim minority in the west of Myanmar.
She said she has always expressed her concern about the religious intolerance in Myanmar, but has been restricted by laws against mixing religion and politics.
Despite national support, Suu Kyi’s party has also been criticised for not coming up with any Muslim candidates for the election.