Suu Kyi in transition talks with Myanmar president


Myanmar’s opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi and President Thein Sein agreed Wednesday on a smooth transfer of power to the new government, three weeks after Suu Kyi’s party won a decisive election victory.

Suu Kyi asked Thein Sein to ensure a peaceful transition so as not to raise concerns among the public, presidential spokesman Ye Htut told reporters after the hour-long meeting in the presidential palace in Nay Pyi Taw.

“President Thein Sein agreed,” Ye Htut said. “This is the final victory of the reform process carried out by current government led by President Thein Sein, as there is no precedent in Myanmar for a government transferring power peacefully to an election winner,” he said.

Later Wednesday Suu Kyi was due to meet the powerful military chief Min Aung Hlaing, for their first official talks since the landmark polls, in which her National League for Democracy party trounced the military-backed Union Solidarity and Development Party.

Soon after the election on November 8, the longtime democracy campaigner said she wanted to meet the country’s most important powerbrokers, including Parliament Speaker Shwe Mann.

Suu Kyi has reportedly met Shwe Mann several times since the November poll, and he is seen as a possible presidential contender as Suu Kyi herself is constitutionally barred from holding the post.

The new government is not due to take power until early next year, with the question still open as to whom the parliament will select to be the country’s next president.

Suu Kyi has said that she will “make all the decisions” in the new government, and that the incoming president would have to “act in accordance with the decisions of the party.”