Suu Kyi pledges support to ousted Shwe Mann

Suu Kyi pledges support to ousted Shwe Mann

Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi said on Tuesday that she and her party would work with ousted Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) chairman Shwe Mann.

“It is now clear who the enemy is and who is the ally,” Suu Kyi told reporters when asked if Shwe Mann’s sacking meant she had lost an ally.

“The National League for Democracy Party will work with the ally,” she added.

The changes in the ruling party would likely boost the NLD’s vote count in the coming November election, she said.

The NLD leader was speaking at a break in the Lower House parliamentary session, opened by House Speaker Shwe Mann, who so far maintains his parliamentary position despite his purge from the higher ranks of the USDP.

Suu Kyi and the reform-minded Shwe Mann were widely rumoured to have formed a bond over the past two years as the Nobel Peace Prize laureate sought support for constitutional amendments that would dilute the power of the military in parliament.

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However, President Thein Sein grew increasingly weary and wary of the house speaker’s antics, and accused him of acting in his own personal interests rather than those of the party.

Shwe Mann was purged last week from his position as USDP chairman in a late-night shake-up at the party’s headquarters in Naypyidaw.

The USA and UK have condemned the ruling party’s use of the country’s security forces and police in assisting the internal coup operation.

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