Suu Kyi explains presidential picks to NLD MPs

By MRATT KYAW THU | FRONTIER

NAY PYI TAW — After keeping all but a few of the party’s most senior members in the dark, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi told lawmakers on Thursday her reasoning behind the National League for Democracy’s choice of vice-presidential nominees.

Skipping Thursday morning’s parliamentary session, during which the Pyithu and Amyotha hluttaws respectively nominated U Htin Kyaw and U Henry Van Thio to the posts, Suu Kyi instead went to the Nay Pyi Taw Municipal Guest House once parliament adjourned and met with NLD lawmakers in the afternoon to explain the party leadership’s reasoning for the decision.

“Vice presidents have to first be loyal to the party,” she said. “When we say loyalty, it’s not how many years he or she worked at the party. I want to say it’s their nature. Some people are not serious about loyalty because of their nature. And some people are very strongly loyal because of their nature.”

“Second is obeying the rules and regulations. Those nominees have to obey the rules and regulations of the NLD,” she added, saying that candidates were also chosen because they had the respect of both the international and local community.

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“We didn’t look at the experience and status of the nominees. I believe that people will love the vice-presidents we’ve chosen,” Suu Kyi said.

Parliament will next meet to confirm that the candidates meet the eligibility criteria set out under the military-drafted 2008 Constitution and vote on the nominees. The candidate with the highest vote will assume the presidency.

Htin Kyaw, a close confidante of Suu Kyi, is all but certain to be Myanmar’s next president, owing to the NLD’s majority in both houses of parliament, with Henry Van Thio and an as yet unnamed military nominee to assume the country’s two vice-presidential posts.

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