16 Mar 2013

Myanmar constitution up for review

6:55 am on 16 March 2013

Members of Myanmar's parliament have set up a committee to review the country's constitution.

Among other things, the current charter bars opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi from becoming president of the country.

Myanmar's former military rulers drafted the constitution to protect their interests - one quarter of the seats in the new parliament are reserved for the military and the armed forces are not accountable to any civilian authority.

The charter also bars anyone whose immediate family members are foreign citizens from becoming president, a clause the BBC reports is clearly aimed at excluding Aung San Suu Kyi.

Her party is pushing hard to amend the constitution before the next election.

Amendments require the approval of three quarters of the MPs, effectively giving the military a veto.

However, the parliament has now voted in favour of a committee to look at changing the charter.

The iniative for the committee came from the government's own party.