Shwe Mann 'to work with Suu Kyi'

Former Myanmar ruling party chief Shwe Mann at his home in Phyu on Nov 4, 2015.
Former Myanmar ruling party chief Shwe Mann at his home in Phyu on Nov 4, 2015.PHOTO: REUTERS

PHYU (Myanmar) • One of Myanmar's most powerful politicians has said Ms Aung San Suu Kyi's opposition party is the country's most popular, and he would work with the Nobel laureate in Parliament after a historic election.

Mr Shwe Mann, in a rare interview with the international media late on Wednesday, said he and Ms Suu Kyi have met frequently and found much common ground. He leads a sizeable parliamentary faction of the ruling Union Solidarity and Development Party. If Ms Suu Kyi fails to win a majority, his support could help her form a government.

"The NLD has got the strongest support from the people," Mr Shwe Mann, 68, said at his home, referring to Ms Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy. He added that the interests of the nation were more important than personal or party affiliations, and that cross-party cooperation was vital to Myanmar's future.

"Whenever Aung San Suu Kyi and I meet, we always talk about working together for the stability and development of the country," he said. "This cooperation will continue in the next Parliament. We will work together for the country."

Their close ties had led to speculation that Mr Shwe Mann could be a presidential contender if the NLD dominates. He said he was willing to take on the job if elected: "If they think I should be the president, I will be."

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 06, 2015, with the headline 'Shwe Mann 'to work with Suu Kyi''. Print Edition | Subscribe