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Suu Kyi's NLD party nominates presidential candidates

Aung San Suu Kyi's party has nominated her former driver and close aide, Htin Kyaw, to become Myanmar's next president. It also put forward a member of the ethnic Chin minority. The Nobel laureate is not eligible to run.

Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy (NLD), which won a

controlling majority

in both of Myanmar's houses of parliament, selected two of three eventual

nominees for the presidency

on Thursday.

Htin Kyaw, 70, a close adviser to Suu Kyi, received the party's nomination in the lower house. The son of a prominent poet, Htin Kyaw was once a classmate of the pro-democracy advocate, both at school and Oxford University; he also served as Suu Kyi's driver.

Myanmar Aung San Suu Kyi und Htin Kyaw

Htin Kyaw was a classmate of Aung San Suu Kyi

Meanwhile, Henry Van Thio, a member of the ethnic Chin minority, was put forward as the NLD's nominee in the upper house.

The final nominations confirm that Suu Kyi will not become president this time around. The 70-year-old had repeatedly said she hoped to reach a compromise with the military that would allow her to assume the role. Myanmar's military-drafted constitution forbids Suu Kyi from running because her children hold British passports, not domestic ones.

However,

talks with the armed forces and outgoing leaders

- aimed at addressing the situation - failed.

Nominee with no chance

The military-backed Union Solidarity and Development Party is set to choose a third nominee, who cannot hope to win because of the NLD's superior numbers. However, that candidate would become one of two vice presidents after a president is elected by the assembly.

Suu Kyi's former physician, as well as former political prisoners and former generals who joined the NLD had been among the favorites to be put forward as candidates.

Despite not being president, Suu Kyi - who led the party to its November 8 victory - has vowed in the past to rule by proxy from above the president.

Suu Kyi spent 15 years under house arrest after the NLD won an election in 1990, the results of which the junta never recognized.

rc/msh (AFP, AP, dpa, Reuters)

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