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Myanmar President to Skip Parliament Elections

FILE - Myanmar President Thein Sein delivers statement concluding the Association of Southeast Asian Nations leaders Summit in Naypyitaw, Myanmar.

An aide to Myanmar President Thein Sein says his boss will not run in parliamentary elections later this year.

The senior official, who did not want to be named, told VOA's Burmese service Monday that the president is expected to make a formal announcement soon. The aide did not give a reason for the move, but Reuters quotes an official as saying the decision is related to the president's health.

Even though he will not run in the parliamentary elections, the move does not rule him out from seeking a second term as president.

Under the constitution in Myanmar, also known as Burma, the country's parliament chooses the president from among three candidates nominated by the upper and lower houses as well as the military. However, any qualified citizen can be nominated, even if they are not serving in the legislature.

General elections scheduled for this November will be the first since the country ended decades of military rule in 2011, the same year Thein Sein began his current five-year term in office. The country's next president is expected to be chosen by the legislature early next year.

This report was produced in collaboration with the VOA Burmese service.