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Myanmar's Suu Kyi says willing to be president

Associated Press Modified: October 8, 2012 at 6:00 am •  Published: October 8, 2012

YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi declared her willingness on Monday to serve as president, and her party's intention to amend the constitution to allow her to do so.

Suu Kyi said it is her duty as leader of the National League for Democracy party to be willing to take the executive office if that is what the people want. Myanmar's next election is in 2015.

"I'm a leader of a political party. As a political party leader, I also have to have the courage to be president. If that is what the people want, I will do so," Suu Kyi told a news conference.

Responding to a question, she said a clause in the constitution that effectively bars her from the job is one of several her party wants to change.

Suu Kyi returned last week from a 17-day trip in the United States, where she was feted as a hero of democracy.

Myanmar's reformist President Thein Sein also visited the U.S. last month. Thein Sein, a former general, has launched a series of political reforms since taking office last year after almost five decades of repressive military rule.

In an interview with the BBC during his trip, he said he could accept the idea of Suu Kyi taking his job.

"Whether she will become a leader of the nation depends on the will of the people. If the people accept her, then I will have to accept her," Thein Sein said.

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