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Myanmar's Supreme Commander vows to protect army's political role

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Myanmar's Supreme Commander vows to protect army's political role

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The head of Myanmar’s military has vowed to protect its political leadership role.

In a speech to mark the annual armed forces day, Supreme Commander General Min Aung Hlaing said the constitution, recently redrawn under military rule, must be respected.

“Our Tatmadaw (armed forces), together with the entire people, have not only to respect the constitution, which is the lifeblood of the state, but also to safeguard it,” he said at a parade in the capital, Naypyitaw.

His comments come ahead of a by-election on Sunday in which pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi runs for parliament.

She has told supporters the constitution adopted in 2008 will prevent the emergence of a real democracy.

But if elected, it remains unclear how much Suu Kyi can achieve as any amendments would require the support of three-quarters of members of parliament.