Myanmar parliament to change presidential nominations date

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Naypyidaw, March 1 (ANI): Myanmar’s parliament will today initiate the process of selecting the nation’s president, with the National League for Democracy (NLD) having little hope for its leader Aung San Suu Kyi to lead the incoming government.

The NLD had previously set March 17, as the deadline to nominate three presidential candidates, among whom one will become the president.

According to reports, the date is likely to change, with some suggestions that nominees could be announced as soon as March 9.

The March 17 deadline appeared as an attempt by the NLD to buy more time to negotiate with the military on the constitution.

The recent events have made it clear that the military is unwilling to consider amendment or suspension of section 59(f), which bars Suu Kyi from the presidency.

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A meeting with Senior General Min Aung Hlaing on February 17 was tense and ended without any major agreement.

Myanmar Times quoted a senior official saying “We took time in the hope that we could negotiate with the military to suspend section 59(f). But now we accept that this can’t happen so we have given up on this plan. We’re reverting to our previous plan, which was to nominate a proxy president instead of Daw Aung San San Suu Kyi.”

Reports say that Suu Kyi will take another position within the government, most likely foreign minister, which would give her a seat on the National Defence and Security Council.

The party had yesterday issued a statement announcing the formation of a five-member committee led by U Win Htein who will manage and control the party members who are elevated to the government.

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Under Myanmar’s constitution, members of the government cannot take part in party activities.

Reports say that a war of words with the government and the military last week over a spate of controversial privatisations and tenders was another factor in the decision to bring the process forward.

Jolting in the dispute, the government said it did not believe it needed to be accountable to the current parliament, and would not send government officials to respond to questions or proposals.

The NLD may also have been concerned about leaving a window of less than two weeks between selecting the president and taking office.

Reports say that to avoid further confrontation with the military prior to the handover, Pyithu Hluttaw Speaker, U Win Myint has instructed MPs from the NLD and allied ethnic parties to stay away from sensitive issues that could deviate from the peaceful transfer of power.

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The NLD won the elections this year seizing the power from the military which ran Myanmar for decades.

Suu Kyi is barred from presidency because she married a foreign national and bears his children.(ANI)

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