Suu Kyi’s Former Driver Named Myanmar’s Presidential Candidate
Suu Kyi says she will still run the country, even if it is through a proxy.
Myanmar‘s National League for Democracy (NLD) has proposed a close friend of Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi as its presidential candidate, ending a four-month wait for the identity of a president expected to rule in her name.
The NLD put forward 69-year-old Htin Kyaw, who joined the party just two months ago, as its Lower House candidate. He runs a charity founded by Suu Kyi and has been close to her since the mid-1990s, as they went to school together.
I would like to propose U Htin Kyaw, from the NLD.Khin San Hlaing, lower house MP for NLD
The wildly popular Suu Kyi and the NLD won a crushing electoral victory in November, but she is barred from holding the presidency under a junta-drafted 2008 constitution because her children are not Myanmar citizens.
Suu Kyi has said that she would run the country regardless through a proxy.
The process of picking a leader to replace outgoing President Thein Sein later this month is not yet over. Lawmakers from the lower and upper houses of parliament will elect one candidate each, while the military also puts forward their own nominee.
Until Thursday, she and the NLD leadership had kept the identity of their nominee a closely-guarded secret even from rank-and-file MPs.
In a statement on Thursday, before the nomination was revealed, Suu Kyi urged patience from her supporters.
I would like to appeal for people to support and stand by the NLD with wisdom and far-sightedness. The NLD is determined to meet people’s expectations and will do its best.Aung San Suu Kyi
The NLD’s huge parliamentary majority means the candidate it backs as president is almost certain to take the top job.
The NLD also nominated Henry Vantriu, a member of the Chin ethnic group who hail from Chin state in the country’s northwest bordering India and Bangladesh, as its presidential candidate for the Upper House.
The NLD had been widely expected to name a candidate from an ethnic minority from the upper house who would become a vice president, in line with Suu Kyi’s goal of forming a government for national reconciliation.
(With inputs from AFP)
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