Political Analysis: We have absolutely no idea who Myanmar’s next president will be

After reviewing potential candidates and weighing the one against the other, we can confidently conclude that we have absolutely no idea who the next president of Myanmar will be.

This bold admission comes after months of speculation and zero substantive details from the National League for Democracy and its chairwoman Aung San Suu Kyi.

Sure, we’d love to speculate and play the guessing game, but that would only add to the general confusion and uncertainty, making us more confused and uncertain in turn. It is safer to stay on the sidelines, and when the person’s identity is revealed, rush in first to explain why the choice makes so much sense. This is our plan at the moment.

Can you blame us? Let’s review the facts. There is not much to go on.

So far potential picks have included an obscure lawyer whom nobody knows much about and a doctor who says he literally isn’t interested in the job.

Oh, and there’s U Tin Oo, an NLD veteran and former general who is highly qualified but happens to be 89 years old. By the way, he also doesn’t want the job.

“I wouldn’t even if I was asked… I am 89 now,” he told the Irrawaddy in an interview last year with the following headline: NLD PATRON TIN OO: ‘I HAVE NEVER WANTED TO BE PRESIDENT.’

“A person who is around 90 is deteriorating either physically or mentally. It is not easy [to serve as president],” he said at the time.

Then there’s Aung San Suu Kyi herself, who is constitutionally barred from the post because she has foreign children. In any case she has said she will be “above the president,” making the speculation even more pointless. If the presidential post is a puppet role, does it matter who dangles at the end of the strings?

So, yeah, to reiterate the main theme: We know nothing and are completely in the dark. The only thing we can say with absolute confidence is that Myanmar’s next president will be a human being from Myanmar.


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