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Aung San Suu Kyi suffers political setback

Aung San Suu Kyi (left) might not be able to run for president because of a clause in Myanmar’s constitution.

Niranjan Shrestha/Associated Press

Aung San Suu Kyi (left) might not be able to run for president because of a clause in Myanmar’s constitution.

YANGON, Myanmar — A parliamentary committee has voted against changing a clause in Myanmar’s Constitution that bars opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi from becoming president, in a setback for her hopes of leading the Southeast Asian nation.

The clause bars anyone whose spouse or children are loyal to foreign countries from becoming president or vice president. Suu Kyi’s late husband and her two sons are British citizens.

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If the recommendation is endorsed by the full Parliament, it is likely to have a significant effect on the next general election in 2015. Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy party is expected to mount a strong challenge, with a good possibility of winning, but without Suu Kyi as a prospective president, its backers might flag in their support.

Twenty-six of the 31 members of the committee tasked with recommending changes voted against amending the clause. The decision by the committee last week was not publicized, but a member who did not want to be identified because he is not supposed to speak to the media confirmed the vote.

A final decision is subject to a vote of the full Parliament.

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