Burma’s Parliament is set to choose a new vice president in Naypyidaw on Wednesday, with Gen Nyan Htun, the commander-in-chief of Burma’s navy, seen as the top pick of the legislature’s military appointees.
According to tomorrow’s parliamentary schedule, the military appointees, who hold 25 percent of the seats in Parliament, will submit a list of vice-presidential candidates. The one who is chosen in a vote will swear an oath later in the day.
Journalists and military sources in Naypyidaw say that Nyan Htun is the strongest candidate for the post and that it is highly likely he will be picked as the new vice-president.
Nyan Htun is believed to be loyal to Vice Snr-Gen Min Aung Hlaing, the commander-in-chief of Burma’s armed force.
On July 10, former general Myint Swe, the chief minister of Rangoon Division, was nominated to succeed outgoing Vice-President Tin Aung Myint Oo, who resigned from his position after being diagnosed with cancer in May.
However, Myint Swe was later disqualified after it was learned that one of his children lives in Australia and has become an Australian citizen. Under Burma’s 2008 Constitution, any Burmese national whose relatives are foreign citizens or hold foreign citizenship is not qualified to serve as president or vice-president.
Some observers have suggested that the dispute over Myint Swe’s candidacy also points to a power struggle between reformists and hardliners. Thein Sein is generally seen as a reformist, while Min Aung Hlaing is regarded as a hardliner. Myint Swe is said to be close to Thein Sein.
Other names have also been mentioned as possible candidates for the vice-presidency, including Soe Win, the vice-commander-in-chief of the armed forces; retired Lt-Gen Tin Aye, who is the chairman of the Union Election Commission; and Htay Oo, the secretary general of the ruling military-backed Union Solidarity and Development Party.