Myanmar's parliament has elected to speed up the process of electing the country’s next president after talks between the party victorious in recent elections and the military failed to yield an outcome.
Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy (NLD) won the Nov. 8 election with a landslide, securing the position of choosing the new president who will rule Myanmar for the next five years, but she is blocked from the post under article 59(f) of the military-drafted constitution.
Many suspect the clause is aimed solely at her, as it bars anyone with foreign relatives -- Suu Kyi’s late husband was British, as are her two sons -- from becoming president.
NLD lawmakers said earlier this month that they planned to submit a proposal to parliament to suspend 59 (f).
On Tuesday, parliament speaker Mann Win Khian Than announced that the presidential nomination and voting process would be held seven days ahead of the previous date of March 17.
He instructed the lower house, upper house and appointed military MPs to nominate presidential candidates by March 10.
Under the current system, three presidential candidates are nominated by lower house, upper house and military MPs.
The candidate with the highest vote by is named president while the two candidates become vice-presidents.
Last week, the army-run Myawaddy newspaper reported army chief Senior General Min Aung Hlaing as saying that the military would consider amendments to the constitution submitted according to legal procedure.
Clause 59 (f) can be suspended, but it would require a two-thirds majority in a parliament of which the military holds 25 percent of the nominated seats.
On Sunday, Buddhist nationalists staged a demonstration in Yangon calling on authorities not to amend or postpone 59 (f).
“We will constantly oppose any effort to postpone or amend the section 59 of the constitution for an individual person or for an organization,” demonstration organizer Win Ko Ko Lat told Anadolu Agency.
He added that if the NLD tried to impose a change there would "probably" be a military coup.
Some Yangon-based diplomats are reported to have suggested that Gen. Min Aung Hlaing may be tempted to compromise.
They have said they suspect the Nobel Peace Prize laureate will be offered the post in return for a pledge that she not infringe on the military's economic interests, or seek revenge for years of junta abuses.