Suu Kyi brokering deal to become Myanmar’s president

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Speculation is rife in Myanmar that National League of Democracy (NLD) chief Aung San Suu Kyi may become the country’s president. The announcement for nominations for the top office won’t be revealed until 17 March.

Suu Kyi held many meetings with general Min Aung Hlaing about the pros and cons of the new government, including brokering a deal to put her in the driver’s seat.

The president and vice president are elected before the next government begins its term on April 1. The lower house, upper house and military will select a candidate for the three positions, who will then compete to become president. According to political experts, it has been delayed to create space for talks between Su Kyi and the military.

There were reports of suspension of the constitution Article 59 [f], which further fuelled speculations. Tampadipa Institute, accused the NLD of ‘feeding the rumor mill’ by placing a gag order on its MPs.

The amendment prohibits anyone from holding the nation’s top position whose children hold foreign citizenship.

A NLD insider said one may not expect Suu Kyi’s name name on the ballot sheet next month. Even if the military agrees, there is a legal process one has to follow so you may naming Suu Kyi as president may not be a reality,” said the source.

Tom Lambert from Andaman Research and Advisory, agrees rumours should be treated as rumours. “Nothing the military has said, done, or implied have shifted their position. Having her as president is a red-line they are willing to cross. Until we know the content of their discussions, all rumors are suspect.”

Last week, a local paper claimed Suu Kyi may have to give away chief ministerial positions to the military—on top of the three already reserved for them. Observers say if true, it is an offer they may accept.