NAYPYIDAW, Myanmar: Myanmar’s President Thein Sein will host rare talks with influential allies and rivals including Aung San Suu Kyi Wednesday as the opposition leader intensifies efforts to lift a constitutional bar against her running for the presidency.
The long-awaited talks in the capital Naypyidaw, which follow a similar meeting of key political figures in October, come as the country braces for elections seen as a key test of reforms in the former junta-run nation.
The President’s office director Zaw Htay said the discussion would likely include maintaining order around the elections, slated for November, as well as details of a landmark draft ceasefire deal agreed with multiple ethnic armed groups last week.
“There could be disagreement, it’s impossible to be of one mind. But the more meetings there are, the more the talks can find common ground to benefit the people,” he told AFP, adding that the army chief was expected to attend the meeting.
Suu Kyi’s opposition National League for Democracy (NLD) confirmed she would attend the meeting but gave no other information about the talks.
“She will attend. But I don’t know details like what she might discuss, or her priorities,” NLD lawmaker Win Myint told AFP.
The NLD is expected to hoover up votes in November’s election—the first countrywide poll that the party has contested in almost three decades.
Despite her star power, Suu Kyi is barred from the top job under a provision in the junta-era constitution barring those with a foreign spouse or children from the presidency. The 69-year-old’s two sons are British, as was her late husband.
She has solicited a wide spectrum of support, including from US President Barack Obama, for her move to change the constitution, which she has described as “unjust” and written specifically to keep her out of power.
Observers say she has accepted that it is unlikely she will be able to become president at this time.