Myanmar’s feared former junta leader Than Shwe has endorsed his one-time nemesis Aung San Suu Kyi as a “future leader” of the country, according to his grandson.
Than Shwe, a postal clerk-turned-general who ran the country with an iron fist for nearly two decades, met with the democracy champion on Friday.
Her party is preparing for power after November’s massive election win.
The talks mark a dramatic turnaround in fortune for Suu Kyi, who was kept under house arrest for 15 years by the 82-year-old retired general for leading the democracy movement against his army.
“Everyone has to accept the truth that Daw Aung San Suu Kyi will be the future leader of Myanmar after winning the elections,” Than Shwe was quoted as saying on a Facebook post by his grandson, Nay Shwe Thway Aung. Daw is a term of respect.
“I will support her earnestly as much as I can if she really works for the development of the country,” he added, according to the post.
Win Myint, a spokesman for Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) party, confirmed the Friday meeting, adding it was the first time the pair had met since 2003.
Suu Kyi, 70, is barred from the presidency by an army-scripted constitution, but has said she will govern from “above the president” when her party take their seats in the new year.
It is unclear if his reported comments offer support for Suu Kyi’s bid to change the charter, including the clause that bars her from the nation’s top office because her sons have foreign passports.
Govt-groups dialogue framework drawn up
Meanwhile, a draft framework for holding political dialogue between the government and ethnic groups was drawn up as part of the implementation of the National Ceasefire Accord, an official said on Sunday.
(With inputs from IANS)