NLD slams 'fake' letter on Myanmar presidency

YANGON • Ms Aung San Suu Kyi's pro-democracy party yesterday denounced as "fake" a widely circulated letter purporting to reveal its choice of proxy Myanmar president.

Ms Suu Kyi and her National League for Democracy (NLD) have kept a tight lid on who they want to become the president of Myanmar's first popularly elected government in decades, as they navigated the tense four-month political transition after November's landmark elections.

But with just days to go before they are set to announce their preferences on Thursday, and with Ms Suu Kyi still blocked from the role by the junta-era Constitution, a letter purporting to reveal the selection emerged on social media on Sunday.

"That statement was not released by the NLD and was just a fake one," the party said on its official Facebook account yesterday.

The purported document, which bore an NLD logo, listed current presidential favourite Htin Kyaw and ethnic Shan MP Hkun Tun Oo as the party's nominees for the roles of vice-presidents - one of whom would be selected as leader.

Ms Suu Kyi, 70, has vowed to rule "above" whoever the next president is, meaning that the role would have to go to some- one whose absolute loyalty was assured.

Incumbent President Thein Sein, who stunned the international community with sweeping reforms after taking office in 2011, has pledged to respect the results of the elections, as has the still hugely powerful army chief.

But political tensions have begun to simmer as the country edges towards the handover to an NLD-selected president at the end of the month.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 08, 2016, with the headline 'NLD slams 'fake' letter on Myanmar presidency'. Print Edition | Subscribe