NAY PYI TAW — Union Parliament Speaker Thura U Shwe Mann has sought to quell speculation about his future appointment under a National League for Democracy government, telling reporters on Thursday evening that he had yet to receive an offer for any role.
On the final day of the last parliamentary session in Nay Pyi Taw, U Shwe Mann denied recent rumours he had been earmarked as the next chairman of the Union Election Commission, while saying he would be open to a continuing role in politics.
“Including the UEC chairman role, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi has not offered me any post yet. In the interests of my country, I’ll accept any post proposed for me,” U Shwe Mann told Thursday’s press conference.
“Daw Aung San Suu Kyi is a far-sighted leader. I believe she knows how to make use of me for the good of the country. So I’ll perform my duty that she wisely gives me,” he added.
U Shwe Mann unsuccessfully contested the Bago Region seat of Phyu in last November’s elections. In August, the strained relationship between U Shwe Mann and President U Thein Sein came to a head with the midnight removal of the speaker as chairman of the Union Solidarity and Development Party, along with a number of his allies on the party’s central executive committee.
Party disquiet over U Shwe Mann’s perceived closeness to Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, along with the USDP leadership’s decision to block a number of recently retired military personnel from contesting the election, prompted the removal of the speaker and his allies from party leadership positions.
In the following months, numerous sources in Nay Pyi Taw have suggested U Shwe Mann and his acolytes would be expelled from the party after the last term of parliament ended on January 29.
At least one of U Shwe Mann’s USDP allies and erstwhile member of the party’s central executive committee, Thura U Aung Ko, has announced his decision to retire completely from politics following the party’s thumping election loss.