Myanmar’s parliament announced Monday that three presidential candidates would be revealed by mid-March, as the election-wining party of Aung San Suu Kyi is negotiating with the military about her leading the country.
Mann Win Khaing Than, speaker of the Union Parliament that convened Monday for the first time since the November poll, instructed the two legislatures and appointed military MPs to submit nominations by March 17.
Under the current system, the lower house, upper house and military MPs each nominate a candidate, before voting together for a president in the Union Parliament, with the two other nominees becoming vice-presidents.
The National League for Democracy (NLD), a former opposition party led by Nobel laureate Suu Kyi, won the Nov. 8 election by a landslide, securing the position of choosing the new president who will rule Myanmar for the next five years.
Suu Kyi, however, is blocked from taking the post under article 59(f) of the military-draft constitution -- which many suspect is aimed solely at her -- barring anyone with foreign relatives becoming president.
Suu Kyi’s two sons are British citizens.
The NLD and military chief are currently negotiating the composition of the next government, according to political analysts and media reports.
The military is demanding that it have four chief ministers in four key regions, while the NLD is seeking to suspend the constitutional clause to allow Suu Kyi to assume the presidency, several reports have said.
On Sunday night, pro-government television channels broadcasted that "positive results for the suspension of the constitution Article 59(f) could come out" of the negotiation between army chief Senior General Min AUng Hlaing and Suu Kyi.
However, it still remains unclear who will become presidential candidates.
Suu Kyi has called on the public not be anxious.
“You will know when the time comes. The party would not make the decision [on presidential candidates] until next month," she said at a meeting last week with Nay Pyi Taw-based journalists aimed at discussing how media coverage at parliament could be made smoother.
Twelve regional parliaments also convened Monday for the first time since the election.
The NLD elected the speakers and deputy speakers at ten regional parliaments, and members of ethnic parties at the other two.
The powerful Arakan National Party that won a majority in western Rakhine elected two of its members to the posts in the parliament of the troubled state -- home to a majority of Myanmar’s Muslim Rohingya population, who are not officially recognized as an ethnicity.
The ethnic party had reiterated Sunday that it would boycott the new government unless Suu Kyi appointed a local politician as chief minister.