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Aung San Suu Kyi Holds Talks with Myanmar’s President

In this image provided by the Myanmar Ministry of Information, Myanmar President Thein Sein, left, shakes hands with opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi during their meeting at the presidential in Naypyidaw, Myanmar, Dec. 2, 2015.
Aung San Suu Kyi Hold Talks with Myanmar's President
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Myanmar’s opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi held talks Wednesday with President Thein Sein.

The two discussed a smooth and peaceful transfer of power to the country's first democratically elected government. Myanmar, also known as Burma, has been led by the military for about 50 years.

The brief meeting between the Nobel Peace Prize-winner and the outgoing president took place at the presidential residence in the capital, Naypyidaw. It was part of Aung San Suu Kyi's effort toward "national reconciliation" talks.

The talks were announced shortly after the National League for Democracy, led by Aung San Suu Kyi, won a massive victory. The NLD gained a majority over the military-supported Union Solidarity and Development Party that ruled for 50 years. The election took place November 8.

Aung San Suu Kyi later held an hour-long meeting with General Min Aung Hlaing, Myanmar's military chief. General Hlaing told reporters that the talks went well, but he did not give details.

Under Myanmar's constitution, the military retains control of 25 percent of all parliamentary seats. The military also keeps control of several key government posts, including defense, interior and border security.

Many in the country fear the military will ignore the results of last month's election and maintain its grip on power. In 1990, military rulers cast aside a landslide victory by the National League for Democracy, or NLD. Aung San Suu Kyi was put under house arrest for the next 20 years.

But the president and general Hlaing have pledged to accept the results of the November election.

Myanmar's constitution prevents the 70-year-old Aung San Suu Kyi from serving as president because her late husband and two sons are British. But she has suggested that she will rule through a proxy candidate.

I’m Mario Ritter.

Richard Green reported this story for VOA news. Mario Ritter adapted it for VOA Learning English. Kathleen Struck was the editor.


Words in This Story

Massive –adj. relating to a large amount or a high degree

Retain –v. to continue to have or use something

Pledge –v. a promise or agreement to do something

Proxy –n. a person given the power or is permitted to do something for someone else