The three candidates for the presidential nomination have been announced, with the National League for Democracy securing its picks from both the upper and lower houses.
NLD candidate Htin Kyaw won in the lower house ballot, with 274 votes. The Union Solidarity and Development Party’s Dr Sai Mauk Kham, who is the current vice president, received only 29 votes. 14 votes were recorded as invalid.
In the upper house, Chin lawmaker Henry Van Thio from the NLD won with 148 votes; the USDP’s Khin Aung Myint, a former house speaker, lost out with 13 votes.
Although the constitution controversially prevents Suu Kyi from assuming the top job, the results all but guarantee one of the two NLD candidates will head the incoming government. Of the two, Suu Kyi’s longtime friend and close advisor Htin Kyaw is widely tipped to emerge from the vote with the presidency.
His wife, Su Su Lwin, recently joined the ranks of NLD lower house MPs, and serves as the chambers head of the International Relations Committee.
From the upper house, Henry Van Thio’s nomination has also drawn praise as the first ethnic Chin with a chance in the race.
In an interview with Myanmar Now, Henry Van Thio affirmed his support of an inclusive peace process.
“My view is that Aunty Suu (Kyi) is bringing all the ethnic groups on board. As an ethnic representative, I want to strive to build peace in all ethnic regions,” he said.
The military bloc of MPs also announced Myint Swe, Chief Minister of Rangoon military as their candidate this afternoon.
With the announcement of the military’s candidate, the Electoral College will then vote on the three hopefuls. The winner, almost certainly an NLD candidate, will begin a 5 year term as president, the runners-up will serve as joint vice-presidents.