Myanmar's Suu Kyi strikes a conciliatory note as she prepares to form govt

02 Dec 2015


Myanmar's democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi, whose National League for Democracy (NLD) won the country's first general election after years of military rule, today held talks with Myanmar's top general as she prepares to form the government.

Aung San Suu KyiThe Nobel laureate also held talks with reformist President Thein Sein to discuss the transfer of power to her National League for Democracy (NLD), which swept the 8 November election.

But the support of the military will be crucial for the NLD in a country where the military retains considerable clout after decades of rule.

Suu Kyi and armed forces supremo Min Aung Hlaing talked for over an hour at the military chief's office in the capital Naypyitaw. No aides were present.

The general later said, "We had very nice talks".

For Suu KYI and the NLD, it was a meeting symbolising reconciliation after over two decades of persecution by the military, which ignored a 1990 election victory won by the party.

The NLD will form the government but the military will continue to run the interior, defence and border affairs ministries under a constitution drafted before the end of its half-century rule in 2010.

Suu Kyi has not commented on either of the pivotal meetings during the day.

Thein Sein's spokesman and information minister, Ye Htut, said her 45-minute talks with the president, a former general, were centred on the transition.

"We have opened a communication channel," Ye Htut told a news conference.

"They mainly focused on the smooth and peaceful transfer of the state responsibilities to the future government," he said, describing the change to a new president as "completely unprecedented".

Though Suu Kyi has taken a more conciliatory tone towards the military since becoming a lawmaker, it is uncertain whether the NLD would risk putting itself on a collision course with the military by launching another push to reduce its political power later on.

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