By Nirmal Ghosh
The Straits Time
NAY PYI TAW - Myanmar’s National League for Democracy (NLD) has nominated Htin Kyaw, long-time party veteran and close personal friend of party leader Aung San Suu Kyi, for the position of president of Myanmar.
He was nominated by the NLD-led lower house of parliament on Thursday morning (March 10) and is one of three nominees for the post. Another candidate, nominated by the upper house, is Henry Van Hti Yu, an ethnic Chin minority and NLD lawmaker. The third nominee is due to be announced by the army, which has a block of 25 per cent of parliament seats.
But Htin Kyaw’s stature makes it obvious that he is the NLD’s choice for president and will be easily voted into the post by sitting Members of Parliament. This means the other two nominees will take up the positions of vice-president.
The vote is likely to take place next week, after procedural requirements including setting up of scrutinising committees.
Htin Kyaw, 69, has economics degrees from Rangoon and Oxford universities. More importantly, he comes with a sterling political and intellectual pedigree. He is the son of prominent writer and intellectual Min Thu Wun, who was an early leader of the NLD and well known to Suu Kyi’s father, independence hero General Aung San.
Min Thu Wun, who died in 2004, was also close to U Thant, the first Asian Secretary-General of the United Nations. They were born within two weeks of each other in 1909.
Htin Kyaw’s wife Su Su Lwin is also close to Suu Kyi, and is herself the daughter of a former army colonel, the late U Lwin, who was an early member of the NLD, helping to set up the party and leading it in the 1990s.
Su Su Lwin, who won a by-election in 2012 from her father’s old constituency Thongwa, won again last November. She is head of the lower house’s international relations committee.