YANGON (Reuters) - Myanmar President Thein Sein has decided not to run in a parliamentary election scheduled for Nov. 8, a senior official from his office said on Monday, citing health concerns.
“The president wrote a letter to U Shwe Mann, chairman of the ruling USDP Party, that he will not run in the next general election because of his health condition,” the official told Reuters, asking not to be named.
The former military commander was elected to parliament in 2010. From there, an electoral college nominated him as one of the country’s three vice presidents and, subsequently, president.
Shwe Mann, head of Myanmar’s ruling political party, the Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP), held a one-on-one meeting with opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi after receiving Thein Sein’s letter on Monday afternoon, sources close to the parties said, without giving details of what they discussed.
Suu Kyi said on Saturday her National League for Democracy party would participate in the election, ending months of uncertainty. The vote is being billed as Myanmar’s first legitimate election in 25 years.
(This story has been refiled to correct reason for Thein Sein’s decision to not run for second term)
Reporting by Aung Hla Tun; Editing by Robin Pomeroy and Amy Sawitta Lefevre