Arab Times

‘Peaceful power transfer’

Suu Kyi calls for talks with military


YANGON, Myanmar, Nov 11, (Agencies): Myanmar’s transition to greater democracy after decades of military rule surged ahead Wednesday as opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi’s party continued its election sweep and the government promised a peaceful transition of power.

Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy said it received a message from Informatio­n Minister Ye Htut on behalf of President Thein Sein congratula­ting it for leading the race for parliament­ary seats in Sunday’s election.

Ye Htut said the government will pursue a peaceful transfer of power “in accordance with the legislated timeline.” He was not immediatel­y available for comment.

The message helps remove lingering concerns that the military, which has a large influence over the ruling party, may deny the NLD power, as it did after elections in 1990.

It also means that Myanmar is likely to soon have its first government in decades that isn’t under the military’s sway. But while an NLD victory virtually assures it of being able to elect the president as well, Suu Kyi remains barred from becoming presi- dent by a constituti­onal provision inserted by the military before it transferre­d power to a quasi-civilian government in 2011.

Suu Kyi has declared, however, that she will become the country’s de facto leader, acting “above the president,” if her party forms the next government.

She described that plan further in interview Tuesday with Singapore’s Channel NewsAsia television.

Accordance “I make all the decisions because I’m the leader of the winning party. And the president will be one whom we will choose just in order to meet the requiremen­ts of the constituti­on,” she said. “He (the president) will have to understand this perfectly well that he will have no authority. That he will act in accordance with the positions of the party.”

The military, which took power in a 1962 coup and brutally suppressed several pro-democracy uprisings during its rule, gave way to a nominally civilian elected government in 2011 — with strings attached.

It installed retired senior officers in the ruling party to fill Cabinet posts

Okinawa gov refuses order:

The governor of the southern Japanese island of Okinawa on Wednesday rejected a state order to proceed with landfill work on a and gave itself key powers in the constituti­on, including control of powerful ministries and a quarter of the seats in the 664-member two-chamber Parliament. In a state of emergency, a special military-led body can even assume state powers. Another provision bars Suu Kyi from the presidency because her sons hold foreign citizenshi­p.

While Myanmar’s people voted overwhelmi­ngly Sunday to remove the military-backed Union Solidarity and Developmen­t Party from power, it’s clear that the army’s involvemen­t in politics won’t end, and the NLD will need to convince it to cooperate.

The Union Election Commission has announced the results of 151 lower house races, of which 135 were won by the NLD. Suu Kyi won a seat from her constituen­cy, Kawhmu, which is part of Yangon state. In the upper house, the NLD won 29 out of 33 announced races.

NLD co-founder Tin Oo told The Associated Press on Tuesday that the party expects to win about 80 percent of the votes — putting it on pace with the party’s 1990 landslide that the military annulled.

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