London: Signalling another step towards political reform, Myanmar President Thein Sein has said that democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi would be acceptable as the country's president if the people vote for her in 2015.
Sein has initiated a series of reforms in recent years that have seen the beleaguered country gradually emerge out of its international isolation.
Western countries have either suspended or eased sanctions due to the new direction in hitherto military-control in Myanmar's politics.
Speaking to BBC, Sein said he would accept Suu Kyi as president if the people voted for her, and insisted that the will of the people would be respected whoever they chose in an election due in 2015.
Reiterating his commitment to the country's reform programme, he said he and Suu Kyi were working together.
Last week, he spoke at the UN General Assembly, congratulating Suu Kyi on receiving the US Congressional Gold Medal, America's highest civilian honour.
He said: "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. There isn't any problem between me and Aung San Suu Kyi. We are working together."
But he added that the army, which retains many of the seats in parliament, will continue to play a central role in the country's politics, and renewed his appeal for western economic sanctions placed on his country to be lifted.
67-year-old Aung Sang Suu Kyi is a politician and chairperson of the National League for Democracy (NLD) in Myanmar. She remained under house arrest for almost 15 of the 21 years from 1989 until her most recent release in November 2010, becoming one of the world's most prominent political prisoners.
First Published: Sunday, September 30, 2012, 09:54