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Burma’s President Thein Sein will not run as a candidate in this year’s general election, a senior member of the ruling Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) told reporters in Naypyidaw on Monday.
Deputy Minister for Religious Affairs Thura U Aung Ko said that Thein Sein was not on the party’s candidate list for the upcoming election.
News group Reuters cited an anonymous senior official saying that Thein Sein had written to House Speaker Shwe Mann, saying that he would not run in the general election due to the condition of his health.
The president is expected to make an official announcement soon.
Reuters noted that by not contesting his constituency, Thein Sein would not be eligible for a second term as head of state. However, according to Burma’s constitution, Article 60, neither the president nor the vice-presidents must necessarily be elected MPs to be nominated.
Thein Sein, a former military general, was elected to parliament in 2010. He was then nominated by the Electoral College as one of the three vice-presidents, and subsequently was appointed president.
Reuters further reported that Shwe Mann held a one-on-one meeting with opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi after receiving Thein Sein’s letter on Monday afternoon, citing sources close to both parties, though no details were disclosed of what they discussed.
Suu Kyi announced on Saturday that her National League for Democracy party would participate in the election.