Parliaments nominate presidential candidates
THE presidential election process for the second five-year term of Myanmar’s civilian government began in Nay Pyi Taw yesterday, with U Htin Kyaw being nominated as a presidential candidate by the Pyithu Hluttaw (Lower House) and Chin national MP U Henry Van Thio receiving the nomination of the Amyotha Hluttaw (Upper House).
The results came after the meetings of the three parliamentary groups comprising the presidential electoral college, namely, the Pyithu Hluttaw, the Amyotha Hluttaw and military MPs.
Military MPs will submit their candidate to the speaker of Pyidaungsu Hluttaw directly.
U Htin Kyaw, who was nominated by the National League for Democracy, attended the Yangon University of Econoomics in 1962.
While working as a civil servant, he was sent to the UK for further study. He resigned from the civil service in 1992. He serves as an executive officer for the Daw Khin Kyi Foundation, a charitable organization named for the mother of NLD leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.
Given his closeness with the NLD leader and that party’s majority in the parliament, U Htin Kyaw is favoured to ascend to the presidency absent any irregularities in the process.
In the Amyotha Hluttaw, the NLD nominated U Henry Van Thio, the MP for Chin State Constituency-3.
MP Henry Van Thio is an ex-military officer who served in the Tatmadaw for 20 years. He resigned from the Tatmadaw at the rank of major, after which he worked for the Ministry of Industry for nine years.
The USDP, now an opposition party in the parliament, also put forward its choices for the presidency, though they were not nominated by their respective parliaments.
In the Pyithu Hluttaw, the USDP proposed Dr Sai Mauk Kham, one of the incumbent vice presidents who was reelected to the Pyithu Hluttaw representing Lashio Constituency in the 2015 elections.
In the Amyotha Hluttaw, the USDP proposed U Khin Aung Myint, the former speaker of the first Pyidaungsu Hluttaw. He was also reelected as an MP in the 2015 election.
Following the presidential nominations, a process for evaluating the presidential candidates is being carried out by a scrutiny committee comprising of one MP from each house of parliament. The committee is meant to determine whether the nominees are suitable for the presidency.
The candidates’ approval is expected to be announced in a few days, after which their candidacy will be submitted to the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw.
MPs are expected to elect the next president of Myanmar on 17 or 18 March. The candidate who takes the highest number of votes from the MPs will become the president, while the remaining two will be vice presidents.
Following their swearing-in at the parliament on 30 March, a ceremony to handover the duties of the government will be held.
The presidential candidates were nominated in group meetings at the Pyithu Hluttaw and Amyotha Hluttaw, respectively. The meetings were chaired by the speakers of those parliaments.
The group meeting of military MPs, who will also submit a nominee for the presidency, took place separately, at the army headquarters in Nay Pyi Taw.—GNLM