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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

Burma Parliamentary Committee Votes Not to Amend 59F


Taken Question
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
June 16, 2014

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Question: A parliamentary committee in Myanmar voted last week not to amend a clause in the constitution that bars Aung San Suu Kyi from the presidency. Do you have a comment on that vote?

Answer: We are aware of reports that the majority of members of the parliamentary committee considering proposed constitutional amendments has voted not to amend Article 59F of the Burmese constitution.

The United States supports Burma’s economic and political reforms. We routinely engage the Burmese government in discussions around how to strengthen their democratic processes, including through constitutional reform. We will continue these discussions with key stakeholders as they work to develop their final recommendations on constitutional changes.

We believe constitutional reform should pave the way for the Burmese to freely choose their President in a free and fair 2015 election, address rights of members of ethnic minorities and relations between the national government and ethnic majority regions, and decrease the role of active-duty military in political structures.

Enabling the Burmese people to freely choose who they want to lead them during the critical next phase of transition will help to ensure stability in the country as the democratic transition continues.

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