Myanmar Readies For Presidential Revelation

March 10, 2016 – Aung San Suu Kyi’s pro-democracy party is due to reveal its nominations for Myanmar’s presidency today, after months of fevered speculation over who will be the Nobel laureate’s proxy.

Suu Kyi, revered as the daughter of the country’s independence hero as well as for her sacrifices during the long years of democratic struggle, is barred from top political office by a military-drafted constitution.

But she has vowed to rule “above” the next leader of Myanmar, buoyed by a roaring election victory that gave her National League for Democracy a mandate to comfortably form the country’s first popular government in decades.

“This is an important step in implementing the desires and expectations of voters who enthusiastically supported the NLD,” Suu Kyi said in a statement published on her party website early Thursday, urging people to support the party’s goal “peacefully”.

The naming of an alternative will come as a jolt to many in Myanmar who have clung to faint hopes that the 70-year-old democracy campaigner could still be named president despite the legal obstacles in her way.

In an atmosphere of tense excitement in the junta-built capital Naypyidaw, hundreds of newly-minted lawmakers were preparing to select a replacement for outgoing President Thein Sein, who will hand over to his successor on March 31.

They will chose among three possible candidates, one each from the NLD-led lower and upper houses and one from the still powerful army.

The names are due to be revealed on Thursday before being put to a vote later that will determine the president and two vice presidents.

Suu Kyi’s one-time driver, her doctor, her personal assistant and an elderly general turned democracy activist have all been mooted as possible contenders.

But rank-and-file NLD lawmakers said they were still in the dark about who would be chosen to act as a proxy for Suu Kyi, who is blocked from the presidency because she married and had children with a foreigner.


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