Myanmar democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi’s close aide Htin Kyaw has been nominated as the presidential candidate by her party, National League for Democracy (NLD), according to reports Thursday. The announcement comes at a time when deliberations over potential nominees ranged from Suu Kyi’s personal physician to her chief-of staff, but mostly remained centered on Htin Kyaw, Suu Kyi’s one-time driver.
The party also nominated Suu Kyi’s loyalist Henry Van Hti Yu, an ethnic Chin minority and upper house NLD lawmaker, the Associated Press reported. The second nomination from the party made it clear that 70-year-old Suu Kyi will not become the next president of the country.
It is widely speculated that that the NLD will get the president’s post and a vice president’s seat due to its majority in both the houses of the parliament. However, a clause in the military-drafted constitution, Article 59 (f), prohibits anyone with a spouse or children with a different nationality from becoming the president. NLD leader Suu Kyi’s late husband was British, as are her children.
NLD won a landslide Nov. 8 election, giving the party a majority in both the upper and lower houses of Parliament. Suu Kyi has said she would weild the real power and run the government from behind the scenes.
Prior to the announcement, Suu Kyi's office released a statement urging citizens to support her party. "Before we can deliver on the promises fully to be able to reach our designated goals successfully, I would like to humbly call on our people to support us with wisdom," her statement read, according to Kyodo News, a Japanese news agency.
Meanwhile, reports also said that former ruling party, Union Solidarity and Development Party, nominated its current Vice President Dr. Sai Mauk Kham for the presidential post.
A supervising body will examine the eligibility of the nominees and an approval is expected to be announced Friday, after the Parliament receives nominations from each party. Myanmar’s new president will be elected by an electoral college from among three nominees.