Friday, September 22, 2017

After death threat, NLD leader’s security upped

Daw Aung San Suu Kyi has been given extra security following a death threat on Facebook alluding to her presidential ambitions, officials said February 12.

In a post last week, a man called Ko Ye Lwin Myint threatened to shoot anyone who tries to change a controversial clause in the constitution which bars the pro-democracy champion from the top office.

While he did not specifically name the 70-year-old Nobel laureate, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi has made little secret of her desire to be president.

Her National League for Democracy has taken its seats in parliament after storming last year’s election – the freest in decades in the once junta-ruled nation.

But Daw Aung San Suu Kyi is blocked from the presidency by a constitutional clause because her children and spouse were foreign-born.

An NLD member, who did not want to be named but who is close to Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, confirmed that extra security measures were in place “since that man’s threat”.

A senior police official in Nay Pyi Taw confirmed the security boost, also requesting anonymity.

“Police security has been increased for her ... but it is unofficial.”

The threat comes at a key time in Myanmar’s drawn-out power transition.

After her party’s November election win, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi vowed to appoint a proxy while she ruled “above” a president who is set to be chosen in March.

But in recent days rumours have swirled of backroom talks toward suspending the controversial 59(f) clause so she can take the top job.

It is a highly contentious issue, with some senior members of the still-powerful army vigorously opposed to charter change.

Speculation that big political plays are under way deepened on February 12 as it emerged that President U Thein Sein will not travel to America this week to join Southeast Asian leaders in talks with President Barack Obama.

Daw Aung Suu Kyi, for years the army’s nemesis as the figurehead of the country’s democracy struggle, is already protected by a personal security detail.