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Is Myanmar's new US Prime Minister Win Myint going to tip the balance for Aung San Suu Kyi? This week in Asia
Almost 30 years ago, when Win Myint was in a prison holding the 1990 elections in Myanmar, which were annulled by the Burmese government, the army gave him the opportunity to see his seriously ill boy free. Myint declined and also missed his son's burial.
Now the former attorney and pro-democracy campaigner is able to call upon the chief of the armed forces as the country's new chief of state, part of an unexpected transformation that could disrupt the sensitive equilibrium of powers between the nation's powerful general and the country's de facto female government official, State Councillor Aung San Suu Kyi.
One supporter of the National League for Democracy (NLD) governing group, Win Myint, 66, is regarded as a trusted confidante of Suu Kyi. Myint's recent commitment to change the presidential constitutional treaty, which excludes Suu Kyi and gives far-reaching powers to the army, could destabilize Myanmar's delicate shift from junta to civil administration, which began in 2011, when the army was superseded by a semi-civilian administration, having ruled in various ways since 1962.
Abroad, she was convicted of a violent armed repression that sent almost 700,000 Muslims of the Rohingya group to Bangladesh, which the UN has described as a "textbook example of national clean-up. In its own country, the NLD is threatened by slow pace of macroeconomic reforms and a deadlocked peacemaking to end decade-long civilian conflicts against ethnical fighters in the elections in 2020.
Rumors of the deterioration in the 72-year-old Suu Kyi's condition - she canceled a performance in Sydney, Australia, last months - have contributed to her demands for a reduction in government powers. Myanmar' s Liu Yun, a Chinese-based analytical expert, said the army "must be ready to handle a more aggressive presidential leader. However, if the new leader is to govern with authoritarianism, he must work both against Suu Kyi's well-known micro-management of her partisans and against the mighty war.
The amendment of the statute - which provides for strategic scrutiny of three safety departments and enough parliamentary seat to oppose changes to the statute - has also proven to be a major challange for Suu Kyi. It also allows the army to take full power over the administration's law, order and judiciary when a "state of emergency" is called.
"There are dangers involved in trying to change the constitution," said Elliot Brennan of the Swedish Institute for Security and Development Policy, quoting the murder of Ko Ni, the NLD's leading advocate who discussed fundamentalism. When he took over the chairmanship, Win Myint's statements on a low-risk policy to help the Myanmar community and win the NLD's support encouraged the monitors.
He was well positioned to enhance the constitutional state, said Brennan, an able and relatively experienced high court attorney with considerable political expertise in the 1980s. West's criticisms of Suu Kyi will not help Myanmar - will China's UN involvement help? "Making Myanmar strong, smart and healthy would be good for everyone and would make room for a more subtle discussion on some of the more sensitive topics that plague the country," said Brennan.
In Myanmar, Myanmar-based freelance analysts David Mathieson greeted Win Myint's statement that he would give priority to promoting democracy, fighting bureaucracy and bribery and strengthening upholstery. Myanmar has turned away from the West to hug China since the NLD came to rule, and Win Myint is likely to pursue this policing, Ko Ye said.
There are many who accuse Suu Kyi's leaders, who are described by commentators as controling, suspicious and isolating. Before taking over in March 2016, Suu Kyi initially intended to lead four departments - the presidential offices, external policy, electricity and utilities, and educational. In the Rohingya crises, why do China and India support Myanmar?
"Suffering sickness under the grueling timetable of any contemporary politician," said Brennan, pointing out that more presidential election authorities would be a sensible way to assign some of their decision-making powers. Win Myint will run this nation, unlike Suu Kyi's first ever US presidency, not only as constitutionally mandated but also as the Lady's successor," Liu Yun said with a nickname for Suu Kyi.
Of the many stakes Win Myint faces, one thing is certain: the general continues to have the supremacy when he and Suu Kyi fight for the authority they have placed under home arrear. Myanmar's people have been given hopes by the transformation - which has not helped them much since the turning point election in 2015.