Presidential Vote Due Tuesday

By The Irrawaddy 14 March 2016

RANGOON — The new president of Burma’s incoming National League for Democracy (NLD) government will go to a vote on Tuesday, after a body scrutinizing presidential qualifications has worked out whether three men selected last week are fit for the post, according to the deputy speaker of Parliament’s Upper House.

“On Monday, the presidential qualification scrutinizing [body] will check whether the three vice presidents are qualified [to be president]. The selection for the president will be on the next day,” Aye Tha Aung told media on Friday.

Htin Kyaw and Henry Van Thio, both of the NLD, were nominated by the Lower and Upper chambers of Parliament, respectively, on Thursday, while military representatives of the legislature picked Myint Swe, a former lieutenant-general and current Rangoon Division chief minister, as their nominee on Friday.

Constitutionally, the three nominees will be put to a ballot in a joint session of the country’s Union Parliament. The winner of the most votes becomes Burma’s next president, and the runners-up will serve as vice presidents.

Parliament’s tentative agenda for Monday states that the scrutinizing body will submit its findings to the Union Parliament on the same day, sometime after it convenes in the afternoon.

Htin Kyaw, a trusted confidante of NLD chairwoman Aung San Suu Kyi, is widely tipped to win Tuesday’s vote. Suu Kyi herself is constitutionally barred from the presidency, and has said the party’s presidential pick will effectively serve as a proxy in a government that she will lead from behind the scenes.