One Rule Blocks Suu Kyi From Presidency in Burma

But her party looks headed for a landslide victory
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 9, 2015 3:50 PM CST

(Newser) – Aung San Suu Kyi's opposition party was confident after Burma's elections Sunday, and that confidence so far seems to have borne out: Her National League for Democracy (NLD) party appears "on course for a landslide victory that could ensure it forms the next government," per Reuters, and the ruling party conceded defeat Monday: "We lost," the acting chairman says. But no matter what happens, Suu Kyi can't be president: The junta-drafted constitution states that anyone whose child "owes allegiance to a foreign power" cannot ascend to the office, Newsweek reports, and Suu Kyi was married to a British national and has two kids who are British citizens.

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Suu Kyi has called the rule—which many think was written specifically to bar her from the office, the New York Times notes—"very silly" and has promised she'll be the true power behind the new president; after the election results are final, both houses of parliament and the military (unelected members of which will make up 25% of parliament no matter what, per constitutional guarantee) will each nominate a presidential candidate, and a vote will be held in early 2016. The two runners-up will be vice presidents, a position from which Suu Kyi is also barred. But she promised last week that if NLD wins the election, "I will be above the president," NPR reports. "I'll run the government and we'll have a president who will work in accordance with the policies of the NLD." Per the BBC's analysis, though, the constitution specifically prohibits that, and opponents might use the statement as a reason to challenge the election results. (Read more Burma stories.)

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