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Myanmar’s next president will not be Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi

But Aung San Suu Kyi has vowed to be the de-facto leader by calling the shots from behind the scenes - and her party confirmed on Thursday that that's how Myanmar's new government will work.
In this Monday, Feb. 1, 2016 photo, Htin Kyaw, center, walks in Naypyitaw, Myanmar. The National League for Democracy party, which won November 2015 general elections by a landslide, nominated two Suu Kyi loyalists to contest the president's post Thursday. They are 70-year-old Oxford graduate Htin Kyaw and Henry Van Hti Yu, an ethnic Chin minority and upper house NLD lawmaker. (AP Photo/Aung Shine Oo)
In this Monday, Feb. 1, 2016 photo, Htin Kyaw, center, walks in Naypyitaw, Myanmar. The National League for Democracy party, which won November 2015 general elections by a landslide, nominated two Suu Kyi loyalists to contest the president's post Thursday. They are 70-year-old Oxford graduate Htin Kyaw and Henry Van Hti Yu, an ethnic Chin minority and upper house NLD lawmaker. (AP Photo/Aung Shine Oo)

NAYPYITAW // The party of Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi officially confirmed on Thursday that she will not become Myanmar’s next president.

Unofficially, she has vowed to be the de-facto leader by calling the shots from behind the scenes, and party members said on Thursday that’s how things will work in Myanmar’s first democratically elected government in more than a half century.

The party nominated two Suu Kyi loyalists for the post including the front runner Htin Kyaw, a 70-year-old Oxford graduate. The nomination will be followed by a vote among legislators later this month before the new president is installed April 1.

“I’m very happy and very pleased and I believe he [Htin Kyaw] will work together with Aung San Suu Kyi for the benefit of the people,” said Khin Su Su Kyi, an NLD lawmaker.

For the past several weeks Ms Suu Kyi is believed to have held closed-door talks with the powerful military generals to suspend a constitutional clause that bars her from presidency.

The outcome of the negotiations was not known until Thursday when the names of the loyalists were announced, signaling the end, at least for now, of Suu Kyi’s longtime ambition to be Myanmar’s leader.

Ms Suu Kyi did not attend Thursday’s high-profile nomination session but posted a letter on Facebook to her legions of supporters. She called it a “first step toward realising the expectations and desires of the people who overwhelmingly supported the National League for Democracy in the elections.”

“It is our will to fulfill the people’s desire,” Ms Suu Kyi said. “We will try as hard as we can to do that.”

* Associated Press

Published: March 10, 2016 04:00 AM

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