August 20, 2016

The best is yet to come

THE nominations are now over, astonishing both international and domestic political enthusiasts and ending weeks of speculations over the vice-presidential candidates to be named by the National League for Democracy. The event was hailed as a first step to forming a new civilian government, which is scheduled to be sworn in on 1 April.
The NLD nominated U Htin Kyaw and U Henry Van Thio as its vice-presidential candidates at yesterday’s sessions of the Pyithu Hluttaw (Lower House) and the Amyotha Hluttaw (Upper House), respectively. The party holds 255 out of 323 seats in the Pyithu Hluttaw and 135 out of 168 seats in the Amyotha Hluttaw. Despite its huge majority in both parliaments, the victory of the NLD’s nominees may not be guaranteed.
Reports state that U Htin Kyaw, 70, is a close aide to Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, and U Henry Van Thio, 58, is a former soldier of ethnic Chin origin. Although both names are new to the general public, cheers of support and encouragement from the people have erupted on the social media.
The best is yet to come. A scrutiny committee will vet them for their suitability to the posts. It is unclear when the final vote will take place. However, the vetting procedure is not expected to take long considering its urgency. Another vice-presidential candidate will be presented by the military representatives. The constitution provides the unelected representatives from the Defence Services with the right to submit their candidate directly to the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (Union Parliament), which will vote to choose president, first vice president and second vice president.
When the vote takes place, there are sure to be significant changes to the country in its wake.


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