Ex-Myanmar junta head pledges support to democracy

Grandson of former head of Myanmar's military junta says Than Shwe has said he sees Nov. 8 election winner Aung San Suu Kyi as 'future leader' of country

Ex-Myanmar junta head pledges support to democracy

World Bulletin / News Desk

The former head of Myanmar's military junta has told the winner of last month's election that he sees her as the "future leader" of the country and pledged his support, according to comments by his grandson posted on Facebook late Saturday.

Nay Shwe Thway Aung wrote that during a Friday meeting Than Shwe had told former nemesis Aung San Suu Kyi that he would support her with "all of my [his] efforts".

"It is the truth that she will become the future leader of the country," his grandson reported him as saying.

Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy (NLD) is set to take over from the military-backed regime next year after taking nearly 80 percent of the seats in the Nov. 8 general election, but its world-famous leader will not be allowed to become president because the constitution, drafted by the former junta, bars her from the position.

The vote was the first openly contested general election in the country in 25 years.

Suu Kyi, however, has vowed to be "above" the president as a means of circumventing the clause, which says no one with foreign relatives can take the job and is believed to have been written with her two sons in mind.

 Than Shwe and Suu Kyi are reported to have met at 2.00 p.m. (0730GMT) Friday for 2-1/2 hours in Myanmar’s capital Naypyitaw.

Accompanying Saturday's Facebook post was an image of a banknote signed by Than Shwe, Suu Kyi, and the country's outgoing President Thein Sein.

It referred to each of them as Myanmar leaders.

"The significance of this note is... they signed only before they became the head of the country or while they were head of the country," the post said.

During his 19 years in power Than Shwe mostly kept Suu Kyi under house arrest, despite the NLD winning a landslide in elections in 1990 which were later nullified.

He transferred power in 2011 to a reformist, quasi-civilian government run by his inner circle.

Although he no longer has an official role, many analysts are convinced he pulls the government strings when it comes to major decisions on which direction Myanmar should take.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 06 Aralık 2015, 11:09