Ruling Junta president ousted. Tensions also plaugue Aung San Suu Kyi's party
Naypyidaw (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Security forces raided the headquarters of the ruling Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) late last night removing Shwe Mann from his position as president of Myanmar's ruling party.
Armed junta agents surrounded the party headquarters where a select board had gathered to appoint the current president of the country, President Thein Sein, and U Tin Naing Thein USDP the new party president and secretary general, replacing Maung Maung.
The coup comes on the eve of the presentation of candidates for the upcoming democratic elections, scheduled for 8 November (the first "free" elections since 1990). It is a result of an escalation of tension within the party. According to rumors, Shew Mann (former general) did not want to support candidates loyal to Thein Sein nor accept new applications of former military officials.
The former president of the party opposed the military on a few key points: he was favorable to the constitutional reform that would reduce the power of the military junta.
Shwe Mann had also welcomed the idea of working in collaboration with Aung San Suu Kyi, leader of the opposition party (NLD), who, analysts believe, could sweep the elections.
Thein Sein has downplayed the incident, saying that "it is just an internal affair of the party leadership, there is no need for concern” and that "the government is working to restore order." The president also confirmed that he will not run for a seat in parliament but will accept a possible second term as president.
Tensions are also reported among the ranks of the National League for Democracy (NLD). In recent days, Aung San Su Kyi has expelled - for "violation of partty rules" - at least 10 members who were protesting against the exclusion, from the list of candidates, of some of the historical leaders of the struggle for democracy.