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Asia Today ISSN 1861-4604 Saturday, October 20, 2018

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Triumphant Aung San Suu Kyi prepares to nominate Myanmar cabinet

NLD to form the next government

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YANGON, Myanmar - Myanmar's opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi on Sunday held talks with the powerful parliament chairman after an election landslide swept out much of the military old guard.

Remaining seats were due to be declared later on Sunday to cement a major victory that allows the National League for Democracy (NLD) to form the next government, and usher in a new age of democracy after years of disenfranchisement under the military's harsh 1962-2011 rule.

On the eve of what could be the last session of the current parliament, lower house chairman Shwe Mann, who lost his seat in the Nov. 8 vote and was ousted in August as head of the ruling party, struck a conciliatory tone.

"She congratulated me for accepting the election result early and comforted me," he said in a Facebook post, with a photograph of them together, smiling.

The reformist ex-general wields much influence over lawmakers and his cooperation in the coming transition could remove some potential hurdles to the NLD before it takes office.

Shwe Mann's warm ties with Suu Kyi and his attempt to block some military from running as Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) candidates contributed to his removal as leader of the party and regime that for decades kept Aung San Suu Ki under house arrest.

Suu Ki's NLD party won a majority of the vote in elections in 1990, but that result was ignored by the military junta and led to her house arrest. There are widespread fears that a similar outcome may unfold following these latest elections.

However, armed forces commander, Senior General Min Aung Hlaing and President Thein Sein have been unambiguous in their endorsements of the NLD victory and Thein Sein has promised a smooth transition.

Suspicions still linger among some in Myanmar who do not trust the military to support a fully civilian government, and there are widespread fears of a coup if Aung San Suu Ki steps too far out line.

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