Given his close ties to Suu Kyi, speculation has mounted over whether Shwe Mann will be handed an influential political position under the new government.

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Newly elected lawmakers assumed their seats for the first time Monday in a Parliament many hope will stand for a more just and democratic political order.

Old Burma Meets New in Parliament

On the eve of the commencement of the new National League for Democracy (NLD)-dominated Parliament, The Irrawaddy revisits a story from the archives which took the pulse of the national legislature in July 2012, when Aung San Suu Kyi and her party colleagues took up their seats as lawmakers for the first time following an April by-election.

As Aung San Suu Kyi prepares to lead a National League for Democracy-led government—at least “from above”—the country’s army chief is not sitting idly.

To ensure influence at home and abroad—and with the presidency currently off-limits—Aung San Suu Kyi may opt to assume the role of Burma’s foreign minister.

As political dialogue is about to begin in Naypyidaw, it’s time to examine just how much progress has actually been made toward achieving peace in Burma.

Hope Renewed as a New Year Dawns in Burma

As the current military-backed government’s term slowly winds down, many Burmese will bring in the New Year cautiously optimistic as to what lies ahead.

The meeting between the two towering political figures, long at odds over Burma’s political future, raises hopes for a smooth transfer of power. 

RANGOON — Rumors swirled in Burma’s capital late on Friday after reports of a meeting between ex-junta head Snr-Gen Than Shwe and Aung San Suu Kyi. The pair met at the military’s headquarters in Naypyidaw on Friday afternoon, according to a report carried by the BBC’s Burmese service and other sources close to the matter. […]

By KYAW ZWA MOE / THE IRRAWADDY

RANGOON — It was all beaming smiles in Burma’s capital on Wednesday, as the country’s three most influential figures came together for initial discussions that could prove crucial for the country’s political future. Many Burmese were heartened to see the pictures of revered opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi with Burma Army chief Snr-Gen Min […]

By BERTIL LINTNER / THE IRRAWADDY

There is a common misperception that even Burma’s first, 1947 Constitution, barred persons married to foreign citizens from becoming the country’s president or vice president. I first heard this from Rangoon-based foreign diplomats in the 1990s, and some of them also claimed it was Aung San Suu Kyi’s father, General Aung San, who had insisted […]

Officials of Burma’s ruling party will be forced to embark on some serious soul-searching if they wish to remain relevant in Burmese politics. The results of the Nov. 8 general election, in which the Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) won only 41 Union Parliament seats, showed in no uncertain terms the depths of the […]

By KYAW ZWA MOE / THE IRRAWADDY

RANGOON — Just over two weeks since voters turned out in droves for a peaceful general election that ushered in a conclusive majority in favor of Burma’s main opposition party, Burmese people still feel a lingering sense of unease. In a country where the military has long wielded political power, Burmese citizens’ remain concerned over […]

NAYPYIDAW — The overwhelming majority of Burmese voters spoke in one, clear voice on Nov. 8. They voted against “business as usual.” They lined up peacefully at polling stations around the country and, one by one, voted for change. Twenty-five years since claiming a resounding victory in the annulled 1990 vote, the National League for […]

RANGOON — In both Myanmar and abroad, the National League for Democracy’s landslide election win is seen as a victory of the people over the military and its ruling political elite. It’s a price the army had to pay after subjecting the population to decades of repression. The public’s message was a clear call for […]

RANGOON — The people of Myanmar are euphoric at the landslide victory won by the opposition National League for Democracy (NLD) in a Nov. 8 general election deemed to be the freest and fairest since 1990. As Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi’s party has received more than enough parliamentary seats to select a president […]

By AUNG ZAW / THE IRRAWADDY

RANGOON — It was a remarkable day in Burma’s modern history. Millions of Burmese people lined up patiently, many from before dawn, to have their say in choosing the new leadership of the country. As the results soon became clear, so too did the message to the old regime: enough is enough. But the road […]

From the time polling stations close at 4 pm on Sunday, Burma will enter into a delicate, and mostly likely tense, political phase. Voters will be holding their breath as results filter through. Even after a full electoral picture begins to take shape in the days following the vote, a period of backroom horse trading […]

By TIKHA NYANA & AUNG NAY PAING

On Sunday, all eyes will be on Burma’s historic elections. We share the widespread hope that our country will take a decisive step away from decades of tyranny. But even if the government becomes more representative, popular demands for justice will continue to be blocked by a legal branch that serves entrenched military interests. Respect […]

By AUNG ZAW / THE IRRAWADDY

It is now only days until Burmese voters head to the polls for a general election that could be a milestone moment for the country, provided it is free and fair. If the process runs smoothly, there may be many new faces when the Parliament convenes in early 2016. However, many Burmese are looking to […]

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