Burmese President's Resignation Rumors to Prompt Legal Action
By Pe Thet Htet Khin 4 May 2017
NAYPYIDAW — The spokesperson for Burma’s ruling National League for Democracy party said actions would be taken against those who spread rumors that the country’s President U Htin Kyaw would be replaced with a former general who is close to State Counselor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.
For several days, it circulated on Facebook that President U Htin Kyaw would step down due to poor health. The widely-shared post added that the party’s spokesperson U Win Htein had accepted the President’s resignation and awaited Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s approval to install former general Thura Shwe Mann.
U Win Htin told the media in Naypyidaw on Thursday that he personally called Home Affairs Minister Lt-Gen Kyaw Swe to tell him to find the person responsible for the original post and take legal action.
“As far as I’m concerned, it was done by people who are trying to politically destabilize the country while Daw Aung San Suu Kyi is away,” he said.
The State Counselor has been in Europe since Sunday. She is now in Italy before heading to the UK.
President U Htin Kyaw is one of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s confidantes, and he was believed to be handpicked by the Nobel laureate as she is barred from the presidency by the country’s 2008 military-drafted Constitution.
Thura Shwe Mann was a powerful general who became chairman of the then-ruling Union Solidarity and Development party in 2013. He has since built a relationship with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. He was purged from the USDP in 2015 and now serves as chairman of the Legal Affairs and Special Cases Assessment Commission, formed by the Union Parliament after the NLD came to power in 2016.