Suu Kyi said to be angling for presidency

Suu Kyi appears to be in negotiations to take the presidency. Source: Wikimedia

Myanmar will not find out who its next president will be until at least mid-March, it was announced as speculation swirled over who will serve as proxy for Aung San Suu Kyi.

All presidential candidate proposals must be submitted to parliament be March 17, said Win Khaing Than, the Speaker of Myanmar’s combined upper and lower houses.

Suu Kyi is barred from the presidency by the junta-drafted constitution because her children have British nationality and because her late spouse was British.

“There is no discussing between the military and NLD about Section 59(f),” said Brigadier General Tin San Naing, the spokesman for the military MPs, referring to the infamous clause that bars Suu Kyi from the presidency.

“The section can’t be suspended. It’s against the constitution. It has already been discussed in the parliament so it should not be proposed and discussed again.”

The section had been “put in the constitution intentionally, to protect our people from foreign invasion”, he added.

The Nobel laureate has insisted after her party’s landslide victory that she will rule “above” the next president.

Political analyst Yan Myo Thein said: “It is still too early to confirm that Suu Kyi will be among the presidential candidates. Even the suspension and the constitutional amendment will take time. And we cannot really comment relying only on a short announcement on TV.”

“I think everything will be fine,” said Kyaw Htwe, MP and member of the NLD central executive committee. “The negotiations will be positive for our leader Aung San Suu Kyi to become president.”

Observers suspect the NLD is in talks with the military to reach a compromise to allow her to rule.

Myanmar’s army has a veto on any constitutional change and has blocked all attempts at its alteration. A quarter of the parliament is designated for military representatives and more than 75 per cent of MPs must vote for constitutional change.

Three presidential candidates will be nominated, one by each of the lower and upper houses and one from the military MPs.

One of the three vice-presidents will be selected by MPs for the top job with the other two remaining as vice-presidents. Suu Kyi, 70, last week said it was “not yet time to form a government”, urging the electorate not to be “anxious”.