Burma’s ousted ruling party leader Shwe Mann met opposition leader and Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi in the country’s capital on Monday, a member of parliament for the ruling party said.
The two met for an hour on Monday, the parliamentarian said on condition of anonymity. He said he did not know what they discussed.
President Thein Sein sacked Shwe Mann from the ruling Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) in dramatic fashion last week, in part because of his relationship with the rival party leader.
The former party leader, who remains speaker of parliament and a USDP member, had antagonised the military by building ties with Suu Kyi and backing her campaign to change the constitution.
Shwe Mann and his allies were dismissed late on Wednesday, 12 August, when security personnel locked down the USDP headquarters and prevented party members from entering or leaving the party compound.
He was guarded at his home in Naypyidaw under an unofficial form of house arrest. On Saturday he released a message on his Facebook page saying, ““It is still my true will to focus on serving the interests of my country and people. I could never do anything that brings distress to the country and people, and I don’t wish for others to do that either … In five years as a Lower House MP, I made an oath to myself many times to sacrifice my life to work for the people.”
The internal coup was the culmination of tensions between President Thein Sein and the former party chairman, both ex-generals during junta-chief Than Shwe’s military leadership.
Shwe Mann was seen as a reformer within the party, often using his position to counter the military hardliners in the government. Also purged by President Thein Sein was USDP General Secretary Maung Maung Thein.
Speaking to DVB on Thursday, the director of the President’s Office, Zaw Htay, confirmed that the general secretary position was transferred to Htay Oo, in joint partnership with President Thein Sein.
The USDP called a hastily arranged meeting today to prepare for the showdown with Shwe Mann in parliament later this week, Reuters reported.