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Myanmar gov’t, opposition discuss smooth power handover

17:59 17 December 2015 Author :   The Staff

Myanmar’s government and the election-winning National League for Democracy (NLD) have started working to ensure a smooth transfer of power to the country’s new administration in March next year, officials said Thursday.

Win Htein, spokesperson for Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi’s NLD, told Anadolu Agency that they had “started discussion on the procedures of power handover” Wednesday during the first meeting of the joint-transition committee formed by the outgoing government and the NLD, which won the Nov. 8 election by a landslide.

“We will meet three or four times a week for further discussion until the new government takes power in March,” he said by phone about the meetings in political capital Nay Pyi Taw.

The talks were a result of a Dec. 2 meeting between current President Thein Sein and main opposition leader Suu Kyi during which the two leaders had agreed for a peaceful and systematic power transfer following the NLD’s victory.

Suu Kyi’s party won 880 parliamentary seats, or 77.3 percent, out of a total of 1,139 contested seats at three levels of parliament in the general election, the first free and fair poll in decades, leaving the party in a position to choose the country's next president.

Information minister Ye Htut, who is also a transition committee member posted, posted on his Facebook page that Thein Sein’s government “is strongly committed to help the next government to do more and make the process easier and smother.”

Following her party’s win, Suu Kyi had held separate discussions with current Thein Sein, military chief Senior General Min Aung Hlaing and powerful house speaker Shwe Mann.

She also met with former junta chief Than Shwe, who had placed her under house arrest for 15 years between 1989 and 2010 and resigned as head of state and army chief in 2011 when he stepped away from active politics.

Their meeting in Nay Pyi Taw on Dec. 4, their first talk since 1993, was facilitated by Than Shwe's grandson, Nay Shwe Thway Aung, who had met Suu Kyi two weeks before.

"It is truth that she will become the future leader of the country. He [Than Shwe] will support her for the country’s development," the former dictator’s grandson had quoted him as saying after the meeting.

While Suu Kyi is barred from the presidency by a constitutional clause saying that no one with foreign relatives can take the job -- believed to have been written with her two sons in mind – she vowed to be "above" the president, after her party secured a parliamentary majority.

Anadolu Agency

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