Sunday , December 11 2016
Home / News / World / On brink of win, Suu Kyi calls for talks with Myanmar military

On brink of win, Suu Kyi calls for talks with Myanmar military

Myanmar pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi waves at supporter

Yangon: Aung San Suu Kyi called for “national reconciliation” talks with Myanmar’s president and the nation’s powerful army chief today as her pro-democracy party stood poised for a landslide election victory.

Power beckons for her National League for Democracy (NLD) party after it took nearly 90 percent of the seats declared so far.

Although poll officials are yet to announce the NLD as winners, Myanmar’s balance of power, dominated for half a century by the army and its allies, appears set to be redrawn.

But Suu Kyi’s supporters remain anxious at how the army will respond to a mauling at the polls, with memories still keen of the 1990 election — won by the NLD but then swatted away by the army.

“Citizens have expressed their will in the election,” she said in letters addressed to President Thein Sein, Commander-in-Chief Min Aung Hlaing as well as influential parliamentary speaker Shwe Mann.

“I would like to invite you to discuss national reconciliation next week at a time of your convenience.”

The letters, shared by the NLD on Facebook, come as her democracy movement continued its blitz of ruling party bases following Sunday’s poll.

Thein Sein has agreed to a meeting once the official election results are announced, the country’s Information Minister said this afternoon.

Suu Kyi’s early move to reach out to the army and its political allies shows willingness to work with her former captors — who kept her under house arrest for 15 years — to cut through Myanmar’s tangled politics.

Analysts say difficult months lie ahead, with the army-scripted constitution gifting the military 25 percent of all parliamentary seats and key security posts.

The document also blocks the 70-year-old Suu Kyi from becoming president despite her position as the democracy movement’s magnetic force.

Today, election officials said the NLD took its haul to 163 of the 182 seats declared so far across the lower and upper houses.

Suu Kyi retained her seat in Kawhmu constituency.
The NLD needs 67 percent of the contested seats to form a majority. But it is eyeing a much bigger margin — and greater clout inside the new parliament.

The democracy figurehead has vowed to rule from “above the president”, indicating she will use a proxy to sidestep the bar on her taking the top office.

Parliamentary speaker Shwe Mann, a former high ranking general who lost his seat in Sunday’s poll, had been tipped as a compromise candidate for the presidency — although his star has waned inside the USDP.