Thursday, February 4, 2016
Suu Kyi ask media to be patience over Myanmar presidency decision
San Suu Kyi said on her choice of President of Myanmar at this tense political transition, with her choice of rubber seal presidential candidate shrouded in mystery days after her party took up its parliamentary majority.
Suu Kyi and hundreds of fellow lawmakers from her National League for Democracy (NLD) strode into the legislature on Monday with a huge mandate from November elections, carrying the hopes of a nation desperate to rebound after decades under the military yoke.
But the democracy champion, who is herself barred from the presidency under a constitution scripted by the former junta, said it was "not yet time to form a government".
She was speaking at her first press conference since the new parliament.
"Don't be anxious. You will know when the time comes," Suu Kyi told reporters, adding that the party must "think carefully" about its choice of a candidate and suggesting the decision would not come until next month.
The NLD's massive majority -- with almost 80 percent of parliament's seats -- gives it a clear run at the presidential selection.
Suu Kyi, the centrepiece of Myanmar's long democracy struggle, is excluded from the presidency by a charter clause that bars anyone with close relatives who are foreign.
She has sought to sidestep that problem by vowing to rule "above" a proxy leader.
But the secrecy surrounding a potential candidate has sent ripples of disquiet through the nation.
There are few obvious choices since the pro-democracy movement has been dominated by Suu Kyi's charismatic leadership since the 1980s.
The NLD also faces a still-powerful military, which under the constitution is granted 25 percent of parliamentary seats -- giving it an effective veto on charter change.
The army has so far resisted any move to amend the clause that blocks Suu Kyi, and a commentary in the state military newspaper on Monday restated this stance.
Elected members of both houses of parliament and the military will nominate three candidates to replace outgoing President Thein Sein, who retains his post until the end of March.
The new president will then be chosen by a vote of the combined houses.
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