RANGOON — President Thein Sein and Commander-in-Chief Snr-Gen Min Aung Hlaing have agreed to meet National League for Democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi on Wednesday, ending nearly three weeks of uncertainty in the wake of the NLD’s emphatic election victory.
In separate announcements posted on Facebook on Monday morning, Min Aung Hlaing wrote that he would meet with Suu Kyi at 2pm on Wednesday at his office in Naypyidaw. Less than 15 minutes later, Thein Sein wrote that he would meet with the NLD leader on Wednesday morning at the Presidential Palace.
Two days after the Nov. 8 election, in which the NLD won a decisive majority in both houses of Union Parliament, Suu Kyi sent separate letters to the president, the military chief and Union Parliament Speaker Shwe Mann requesting a discussion on the transfer of power to a new government.
All three leaders acknowledged Suu Kyi’s request. Shwe Mann met with the NLD leader on Nov. 19, with both parties reaffirming their commitment to a peaceful power transfer. Both Thein Sein and Min Aung Hlaing indicated they would meet with Suu Kyi once the Union Election Commission had completed its “electoral processes”, which with the adjudication of disputed results could have been as late as Dec. 23.
A four-party meeting between the political leaders has been a longstanding goal of Suu Kyi and her party. Along with Upper House Speaker Khin Aung Myint and Arakan National Party chairman Aye Maung, the four sat down to discuss constitutional reform and the election in April. Nothing substantive came from the discussions beyond a hitherto unfulfilled commitment to meet again.