News / Asia

Party: Burma's President Won't Seek Second Term

Burma President Thein Sein arrives at the ASEAN Summit in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei, Oct. 8, 2013.
Burma President Thein Sein arrives at the ASEAN Summit in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei, Oct. 8, 2013.
Reuters
— Burmese President Thein Sein, who has steered a wave of reforms since the end of military rule, will not be seeking a second term at the next election in 2015, the leader of his party said on Thursday.
 
Thein Sein has been lauded internationally for his economic policies, prisoner amnesties, and peace deals with ethnic minority rebels, but last year said a second term would depend on whether the people wanted him to stay and if he was physically able to do the job.
 
"President U Thein Sein has told me he will not run for the president," said Shwe Mann, the speaker of parliament and leader of the Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP), using the Burmese honorific U.
 
"I think he meant what he said. He is not running in the election."
 
The 68-year-old is widely believed to have had a pacemaker fitted to assist his heart.
 
Shwe Mann, who out-ranked Thein Sein in the former junta that was disbanded in 2011, is also regarded as a moderate with reformist credentials, who enjoys good connections in the military and the respect of lawmakers. He has made no secret of his desire to run for president himself.
 
Shwe Mann took over from Thein Sein as USDP leader this year and analysts say the likelihood of him becoming president hinges largely on the extent to which the country's constitution is amended. A panel of 109 lawmakers is reviewing the 2008 draft.
 
The hugely popular Nobel laureate and opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi is expected to run, but only if the constitution is changed to eliminate a clause that bars Burmese from the presidency if their children or spouse are foreign nationals. Her two sons are British, as was her late husband.
 
Speaking to reporters in the capital Naypyitaw, Shwe Mann also said former junta supremo Than Shwe was concerned things "might go wrong" in Burma. He did not elaborate.
 
"He's watching developments in the country with keen interest," Shwe Mann said.
 
Than Shwe was reviled by most Burmese during his nearly two decades of brutal control over Burma and his disappearance from the public eye has fueled constant speculation about anything from his death to an assumed behind-the-scenes political role, which Shwe Mann dismissed.
 
"The senior general doesn't have any intention to be involved in politics," he said. "Even if he had, it would be quite impossible to do it in practice."

You May Like

EU Court Fines Poland for Hosting CIA 'Black Sites'

Ruling is first time a court has acknowledged suspects were held and tortured at the sites, under US program launched following the 9/11 terrorist attacks More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

Video At AIDS Conference, Prevention Pill Stirs Excitement

Truveda shows promise, spurring debate over access and other approaches More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Nguyễn from: US
October 25, 2013 2:23 PM
Burma political reform is not done. He should stay.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debatei
X
Shelley Schlender
July 24, 2014 6:43 PM
In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Death Toll From Israel-Gaza Conflict Surpasses 700

Gaza officials say a shelling hit a compound housing a United Nations-run school in the Gaza Strip, killing more than a dozen people, during an Israeli offensive in the area. Heavy fighting between the Israeli military and Hamas militants continued on Thursday, pushing up the death toll. So far, more than 730 Palestinians and 35 Israelis have been killed in the conflict. VOA's Scott Bobb has the latest from Jerusalem.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Researchers Target Low-Cost Avatar Technology

Scientists at the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies say 3-dimensional representations could revolutionize social media. Elizabeth Lee has more from Los Angeles.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid