Bloomberg | Myanmar Generals Must Respect Elections, President’s Aide Says
Myanmar’s military contains smart people who have no intention of seizing back power as the former dictatorship transitions to democracy, according to President Thein Sein’s top political adviser.
“The military has to accept the election result,” Ko Ko Hlaing said in an e-mail. “Our military is a very obedient one, senior officials are well educated and I hope there will be no more coups.”
Thein Sein has won praise from world leaders after freeing political prisoners, easing media restrictions and convincing opposition chief Aung San Suu Kyi to stand for parliament since taking power 14 months ago. His party’s election win in 2010, while criticized by Western nations at the time, ended about five decades of direct military control.
Investors are watching to see whether Myanmar’s political opening will proceed quickly or face opposition from entrenched interests as the country looks ahead to national elections in 2015. Thein Sein remains undecided on whether he will stand for a second term, Ko Ko Hlaing said.
“Our president hasn’t revealed any desire on the next term,” he said in the e-mail. “So I couldn’t say whether he will run or not in the next election.” Hlaing said in a May 2 interview in Yangon that Thein Sein had “laid the foundation” for political reform and if his tenure is “quite successful, he may be content with his works.”
Another contender for the presidency in 2015 is Shwe Mann, the former No. 3 in the junta and now the speaker of parliament’s lower house, according to the International Crisis Group.
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