Shwe Mann & Suu Kyi: A new ‘ro­mance’?

Mizzima Business Weekly - - AFFAIRS // NEWS -

As Thura U Shwe Mann is side­lined by his party, some observers are look­ing askance at the odd cou­ple’s al­liance Op­po­si­tion leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi raised fears last week for cru­cial Novem­ber elec­tions as the gov­ern­ment tried to calm po­lit­i­cal ten­sions af­ter the sur­prise oust­ing of the rul­ing party chief.

The dra­matic re­moval of Thura U Shwe Mann as head of the Union Sol­i­dar­ity and De­vel­op­ment Party (USDP) was seen as a decisive move by Pres­i­dent U Thein Sein and his mil­i­tary al­lies to tighten their po­lit­i­cal grip be­fore the polls.

Shwe Mann tried to ap­pear calm in the wake of the USDP’s in­ter­nal coup. And one of his moves was to reach out to Suu Kyi.

Suu Kyi met Shwe Mann for a one-hour closed-door dis­cus­sion in the wake of his ouster from the USDP and ahead of the re­open­ing of Par­lia­ment. What was dis­cussed was not made public.

Speak­ing to the media at Par­lia­ment in Nay Pyi Taw, Suu Kyi in­di­cated her Na­tional League for Democ­racy party was an ally of Shwe Mann.

Shwe Mann’s dis­missal by the pres­i­dent made it clear “who is the en­emy and who is the ally,” she told media.

Suu Kyi said the NLD would work with the “ally.”

Speak­ing as MPs gath­ered in the cap­i­tal Nay Pyi Taw for a fi­nal round of par­lia­men­tary meet­ings be­fore the Novem­ber 8 vote, Suu Kyi said the rul­ing party move had stoked con­cerns for the elec­tions, which are seen as a key test of demo­cratic re­forms.

“Peo­ple are wor­ried. We all have a re­spon­si­bil­ity for that,” she told a scrum of re­porters.

The No­bel lau­re­ate also added

Thura U Shwe Mann, left, with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, dur­ing a meet­ing back in 2012. Photo: EPA

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