30 July, 2015 AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook            

Help AsiaNews | About us | P.I.M.E. | | RssNewsletter | Mobile






mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato
e-mail this to a friend printable version


» 10/26/2013
MYANMAR
Thein Sein's decision not to run paves the way for a challenge between Aung San Suu Kyi and Shwe Mann in 2015
by Francis Khoo Thwe
Myanmar's current president will not seek a second mandate and will leave active politics, Lower House Speaker Shwe Mann said in announcing his decision to replace him, likely against opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi. However, the constitution will have to be amended if the Nobel Prize laureate wants run for the highest office. Meanwhile, reforms are "very slow".

Yangon (AsiaNews) - Myanmar President Thein Sein, who led the reform process in the past two years, will not run for a second mandate in 2015, this according to Shwe Mann, speaker of the lower house and head of the ruling Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP). His likely adversary will be Aung San Suu Kyi. Like her, Mann wants the constitution amended to allow the country's main opposition leader to run.

With Thein Sein's not seeking re-election, Speaker Mann said that a period of four years will come to a close. During this time, Myanmar pursued a more open foreign policy, tentatively adopted democratic and economic reforms, released many (but not all) political prisoners and sought peace with the country's ethnic minorities. Because of these changes, most US and European trade and diplomatic sanctions have been lifted.

In addition to announcing his retirement, the 68-year-old outgoing president said that he would not oppose an Aung San Suu Kyi candidacy. At the same time, his decision not to run again opens the way for Shwe Mann, one of three top generals. Although he is now "regarded as a moderate with reformist credentials", he is still well connected with the military.

Last May, Mann took over from Thein Sein as USDP leader. For the first time, he expressed support for amendments to the constitution to allow Aung San Suu Kyi to run for president. "For free and fair elections in 2015," he said, "we should amend Section 59F of the Constitution".

In an interview with The Irrawaddy Magazine, a dissident publication, he showed a softer side, like that of a well-oiled politician rather than a once feared general.

Touted to be General Than Shwe's pick for the 2011 elections, he became instead the speaker of Myanmar's lower house of parliament, where he honed his political skills, becoming a patient and shrewd leader, playing a major role on the national scene, with good connections among top military brass but also open to Aung San Suu Kyi.

Although he expressed optimism that the country's controversial 2008 Constitution could be amended, he agrees with Suu Kyi that it is one of the world's most difficult national charters to change.

More recently, Shwe Mann has openly criticised President Sein's performance (and that of his government) on a number of occasions, but he has never questioned their authority.

Whilst pushing for faster reforms, he has expressed doubts about a quick peace with all of the country's ethnic minorities, blaming their leaders for putting their own interests ahead of those of their people.

In 2015, Myanmar will elect a new parliament, which will in turn elect a new president replacing Thein Sein, a former general who served as prime minister at the time of the Burmese military junta.

After decades of dictatorship, the country held its first (partially free) elections in 2011, followed by a series of by-elections in 2012. National League for Democracy (NLD) Aung San Suu Kyi, leader, who spent 15 of the previous 22 years under house arrest, was one of those elected on that occasion.

Aung San Suu Kyi said on several occasions that she would run for president, even though existing rules bar her.

A recently appointed 109-member parliamentary committee has been tasked with amending the 2008 constitution (adopted at the height of Cyclone Nargis).

A new charter could grant ethnic minorities greater autonomy in the respective states (Kachin, Karen, Shan, Chin, etc),

However, some observers noted that the process of change so far has been slow. For Aung San Suu Kyi, without constitutional reform before 2015, an unfair election could result in a "fake democracy."


e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
10/13/2010 MYANMAR – THAILAND
Aung San Suu Kyi will not vote in military’s election “farce”
by Weena Kowitwanij
02/04/2011 MYANMAR
Thein Sein is Myanmar’s new president
03/31/2011 MYANMAR
The new government, a “puppet” in the hands of the military, says Burmese trade union leader
03/27/2008 MYANMAR
Underground campaign against junta’s new constitution
04/30/2012 MYANMAR - UNITED NATIONS
Ban Ki-moon at Burmese Parliament: Suu Kyi and Thein Sein "united" for democracy

Editor's choices
ISRAEL - IRAN
After nuclear deal, Israel ought to become Iran’s best ally
by Uri AvneryThis is the thesis of Uri Avnery, leader of Gush Shalom, a major supporter of peace between Israelis and Palestinians. According to the great statesman and peace activist, Iran only wants to be a regional power in the Islamic world, able to trade with everyone, inspired by a sophisticated experience that goes back thousands of years. Iran, which faces backward-looking Gulf monarchies and emirates, could be a great ally against Daesh. Meanwhile in Israel Netanyahu, politicians and the media continue to blunder.
ASIA
PIME in China: new men in new facilities
by Piero GheddoThe mission in China is possible. It should focus more on educational facilities. Old and new martyrs offer a role model. Here is a commented review of a letter the PIME superior general sent out to his confreres after a trip to China.
EUROPE – ISLAM
For Nîmes imam, the Islamic State group kills Christians, but also threatens Islam in Europe
by Hocine Drouiche*Political Islam is becoming a "thuggish Islam," one that values ​​lying, hate, and enmity. Christians and the West are its enemies. However, Islam has had periods in which dialogue, reason, encounter, assimilation were held in high esteem. The belligerent Islam that fascinates so many young people is the result of myths and manipulations and causes Islamophobia. It is time to create and develop Europe’s own Islam, one that guarantees freedom of conscience and coexistence with Christians and Jews. Solving the Palestinian problem requires dialogue.

Dossier

Copyright © 2003 AsiaNews C.F. 00889190153 All rights reserved. Content on this site is made available for personal, non-commercial use only. You may not reproduce, republish, sell or otherwise distribute the content or any modified or altered versions of it without the express written permission of the editor. Photos on AsiaNews.it are largely taken from the internet and thus considered to be in the public domain. Anyone contrary to their publication need only contact the editorial office which will immediately proceed to remove the photos.