Rangoon, Burma (BBN)– Myanmar President Thein Sein will not pursue a second term as president by running in the general elections scheduled for early November, an official from the ruling Union party said Wednesday, two days before the cut-off for candidate submissions according to a RFA report on 12 August.
“The president will not run in the 2015 elections,” Thein Swe, secretary of the ruling Union party, formally called the Union Solidarity and Development Party, said in the capital Naypyidaw at a gathering of military officers who have retired from active service to run as candidates on the party ticket, reports Mizzima, a pro-democratic Burmese news organization.
“It is his own decision, not because of his health. We haven’t decided who we will choose [for president] in the USDP if we win,” he said, adding that the selection would be made after the election results have been tallied.
However, Thein Sein still could be nominated for the office for a second term because Myanmar’s president and two vice presidents need not be elected members of parliament, according to the 2008 constitution drafted under the military-junta regime that previously ruled the country.
Of the Union party members who are running, 320 will contest seats in the lower house, 166 in the upper house, 632 in state or division parliaments, and 29 as national race representatives, a designation in the 2008 constitution that lets ethnic groups with sizable populations have their own representatives in state or division parliaments.