NLD Announces Second ‘Official’ Party Voice

By The Irrawaddy 8 March 2016

RANGOON — The National League for Democracy (NLD) designated an additional spokesperson on Tuesday, doubling the exclusive club of those allowed to speak officially on party matters, after chairwoman Aung San Suu Kyi was earlier this year declared the party’s lone voice of authority.

A statement released by the party’s central committee said Zaw Myint Maung of the Mandalay divisional legislature had been assigned as “an additional spokesperson for the party’s policies and the transitional process.”

In January, the NLD announced Suu Kyi as “sole spokesperson” on party matters after senior NLD member Nyan Win was quoted by Agence France‑Presse (AFP) revealing details on prospective candidates for legislative speakerships in the Union Parliament.

An apparent breach of NLD plans for the official rollout of its speakerships roster, the party quickly sought to cast doubt on Nyan Win’s remarks, which ultimately proved to be true. The confusion highlighted what has been an opaque NLD march to the halls of power in Naypyidaw.

The party has defended the aversion to divulging details in recent months by saying its leadership had to “handle things delicately at present,” amid an uncertain transition period ahead of a handover of power at the end of March.

A medical doctor by training, Zaw Myint Maung has been tipped as a prospective candidate for chief minister of Mandalay Division. He is an NLD central committee member and was recently appointed to a five-member NLD “secretary group.” He is a former political prisoner who served 19 years behind bars and won a seat representing the NLD in Burma’s abortive 1990 election, the results of which were ignored by the ruling military junta of the time.

The NLD is expected to reveal its pick for the presidency this week, with that individual due to take the reins of government on April 1. Suu Kyi is barred from assuming Burma’s highest civilian office, owing to a contentious constitutional provision on presidential eligibility that disqualifies those with spouses or children of foreign nationality.

The NLD leader’s two sons are British, as was her late husband.