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

US Firms Concerned About China's New Cyber Regulations

New rules would require technology companies doing business in financial sector to hand over their source code, adopt Chinese encryption algorithms More

WHO Focus on Ebola Shifts to Ending Outbreak

Focus to be less on building facilities and more on efforts to find infected people, manage their cases, engage with communities and ensure proper burials More

US Scientist Who Conceived of Groundbreaking Laser Technology Dies

Charles Townes, Nobel laureate, laser co-creator paved way for other scientific discoveries: CDs, eye surgery, metal cutters to name a few technologies that rely on lasers 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.
Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Webi
X
January 29, 2015 9:58 AM
Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Web

Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Freedom on Decline Worldwide, Report Says

The state of global freedom declined for the ninth consecutive year in 2014, according to global watchdog Freedom House's annual report released Wednesday. VOA's William Gallo has more.
Video

Video As Ground Shifts, Obama Reviews Middle East Strategy

The death of Saudi Arabia’s king, the collapse of a U.S.-friendly government in Yemen and a problematic relationship with Israel’s leadership are presenting a new set of complications for the Obama administration and its Middle East policy. Not only is the U.S. leader dealing with adversaries in Iran, the Islamic State and al-Qaida, but he is now juggling trouble with traditional allies, as White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video MRI Seems to Help Diagnose Prostate Cancer, Preliminary Study Shows

Just as with mammography used to detect breast cancer, there's a lot of controversy about tests used to diagnose prostate cancer. Fortunately, a new study shows doctors may now have a more reliable way to diagnose prostate cancer for high risk patients. More from VOA's Carol Pearson.
Video

Video Smartphones About to Make Leap, Carry Basic Senses

Long-distance communication contains mostly sounds and pictures - for now. But scientists in Britain say they are close to creating additions for our smartphones that will make it possible to send taste, smell and even a basic touch. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.
Video

Video Saved By a Mistake - an Auschwitz Survivor's Story

Dagmar Lieblova was 14 when she arrived at Auschwitz in December 1943, along with her entire Czech Jewish family. All of them were to die there, but she was able to leave after several months due to a bureaucratic mix-up which saved her life. Now 85, with three children and six grandchildren, she says she has a feeling of victory. This report by Ahmad Wadiei and Farin Assemi, of RFE/RL's Radio Farda is narrated by RFE’s Raymond Furlong.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid