Myanmar Government Officials Meet With NLD to Discuss Transfer of Power

myanmar-transfer-dec162015.jpg Aung San Suu Kyi leads a meeting of government and NLD representatives to discuss transfer of power, Dec. 16, 2015.
Photo courtesy of Ye Htut's Facebook page

Officials of the outgoing administration of Myanmar’s president Thein Sein met on Wednesday with representatives of the National League for Democracy (NLD) to discuss a transfer of duties following the NLD’s landslide victory in national polls Nov. 8.

The meeting, the first between the two groups, was held in Myanmar’s capital Naypyitaw at the offices of the Union Parliament Rule of Law Committee, which is chaired by NLD leader Aung San Suu Kyi, according to a Dec. 16 report by Myanmar paper The Irrawaddy.

“Further discussions will continue in the coming days, and the committee will likely meet about four days per week in order to discuss the power transition,” Win Htein, an NLD spokesman, said, quoted in The Irrawaddy.

“Today we talked about the topics we will need to discuss in order to transfer power,” Ye Htut, a committee member and information minister of the ruling Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP), told RFA’s Myanmar Service.

“We had prepared most of our work already, as we already knew we might have to transfer our responsibilities to a new government following the election, and we have been making some additional preparations based on the election result itself,” he said.

“We might also be asked some questions by the NLD based on things it wants to know,” he said.

“All members of the government, including the president, are proud of what we have done to promote political reform during these last five years, and we have no difficulty with the process of transferring our duties, since we want to help the new government continue with the work that we couldn’t finish during our term.”

National reconciliation

Aung San Suu Kyi has called for “national reconciliation” talks in Myanmar following decades of brutal military dictatorship and five years of rule by the military-backed but reform-minded USDP, and observers are anxious to see how the country’s democratic transition plays out.

Though the NLD has now won a majority in parliament and will be able to select the country’s new president, Aung San Suu Kyi herself is barred from the post by a provision in Myanmar’s military-drafted 2008 constitution.

Military officers meanwhile continue to hold 25 percent of the national legislature’s seats through appointment, giving them veto power over all constitutional amendments.

Reported by Thinn Thiri for RFA’s Myanmar Service. Translated by Khin Moh Moh. Written in English by Richard Finney.

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