NLD, military chief talks raise hopes, and fears, of presidential deal

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The Myanmar Times reported that a third round of talks between military chief Senior General Min Aung Hlaing and National League for Democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi has raised hopes among her supporters that the two sides can reach a power-sharing agreement over the presidency and new government.

But the scant information released after nearly two hours of talks at the Naypyidaw Region Command military headquarters shed little light on whether progress had been made.

Sen Gen Min Aung Hlaing’s office and the NLD released the same statements on Facebook, saying the meeting focused on the rule of law and “eternal” peace affairs. The 70-year-old NLD leader looked particularly strained in a brief video of the talks.

Neither side made any mention of what is widely speculated to be holding up an agreement on the presidency – article 59(f) of the constitution, which bars the NLD leader from the presidency due to her two sons being foreign citizens.

Other power-sharing issues believed to be under discussion, according to NLD sources, include ministerial positions for the military in an NLD government of “national reconciliation”, as well as the posts of chief minister in Kachin, Shan and Rakhine states.