Aung San Suu Kyi, Photo by JPaing

Although the 2015 general election is still three years away, National League for Democracy leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi said last week she is ready to be the country’s next president if the people want her to take the job.

“As the leader of a political party, I must have the courage to be president. So if the people want me then I will do so,” she said in response to a question about President U Thein Sein’s recent comments to the British Broadcasting Corporation that he could accept Daw Aung San Suu Kyi as president.

However, in an interview with the New York Times, the president clarified that this would require a change to the constitution, which, under the current parliamentary setup, would require at least some support from military and Union Solidarity and Development Party representatives.

Daw Aung San Suu Kyi said at the October 8 press conference she will push for several changes to the constitution, including the eligibility criteria for the president.

“To amend the constitution, we will do it in parliament. It is one of our policies since we contested the by-elections so we will carefully try to amend it. It is not only for me to be president; we also have some others things to amend,” she said.

Meanwhile, the NLD leader said the purposes of her visit to the United States were to express thanks for the country’s support for democratic change in Myanmar and to explain the country’s situation and needs.

She said US Congress had also supported Myanmar for “many long years” by placing sanctions on the country “because they wanted human rights and democracy in our country”.

“They supported us a lot. That’s why I went to the US to say thanks to the US government, members of parliament and the administration, and also to some non-government organisatons. These organisations also supported the development of democracy and human rights in our country,” she added.

During her trip, she said she told people Myanmar is moving towards democracy.

“As I used to mention frequently, we haven’t got democracy in our country. We can’t say our system is a democratic system. I made this trip because I wanted to explain that we are now on the path to democracy,” she said.

“This path to democracy is not really smooth and easy. We need to make it smooth ourselves,” she said.