Myanmar’s ruling party Thursday released a draft bill on changes to its junta-era constitution that could end an effective army veto on charter amendments, but still bars opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi from the presidency. Her National League for Democracy (NLD) party is expected to sweep landmark elections, slated for November, but she is barred from the top job under a constitutional provision excluding those with a foreign spouse or children from the presidency. The long-awaited draft bill published in state newspaper The Mirror on Thursday kept this provision under clause 59f but, in a slight relaxation, it no longer applies the ban to those whose Myanmar national children have married foreigners. Suu Kyi’s late husband and two sons are British.
Her party has been fighting a longer battle to change this clause by campaigning for another change — an end to the army’s veto on any constitutional amendments.
Under the current charter, any changes must be approved by more than 75 percent of lawmakers giving the army an effective veto as it has a quarter of parliamentary seats reserved.
Under the draft bill, no more than 70 percent of votes would be needed to approve charter amendments, making it easier for elected lawmakers to vote them through.