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Myanmar ruling party chairman ousted three months ahead of general election

Dawood Rehman 03:05 PM | 13 Aug, 2015
Myanmar ruling party chairman ousted three months ahead of general election

NAYPYITAW (Web Desk) - Myanmar's parliamentary speaker Shwe Mann has been ousted from his role as chairman of the ruling USDP party, apparently after losing a power struggle with President Thein Sein three months before a general election.

The tussle between the two old rivals became public in a dramatic way late on Wednesday evening, when security forces surrounded the vast headquarters of the ruling Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) in the capital, Naypyitaw, preventing officials from leaving, the BBC reported.

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Myanmar is holding elections in three months, its first since democratic reforms began in 2011.

Shwe Mann's ouster from the party follows rare discord within the establishment over the role of the military, which handed power to a semi-civilian government in 2011 but retains an effective veto over the political system.

Shwe Mann had reportedly built ties with Nobel laureate and opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who has called repeatedly for the military to withdraw from politics, and he angered the military by supporting an attempt in parliament in June to amend the constitution to limit the military's political role.

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It is unclear what the changes mean for the reform agenda in Myanmar, but the heavy-handed involvement of the security forces smacks of the junta-era approach to resolving political disputes.

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Ms Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy (NLD) is expected to do well in the 8 November elections, while many believe the ruling Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) will perform poorly.

However, Ms Suu Kyi is barred by the constitution from contesting the presidency, so negotiations between the NLD and USDP could help determine who ends up leading Myanmar, also known as Burma.

Until last night Shwe Mann, one of the most capable generals in the old military regime, had been seen as a likely successor to President Thein Sein.

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Thein Sein and Shwe Mann are said to have had a tense relationship, with both men suggesting they would accept the role of president.

The two also disagreed over potential election candidates, reports said.

Sources say Shwe Mann has now been replaced by a conservative known to be close to Thein Sein and formerly military ruler Than Shwe.

Security forces could be seen outside his home on Thursday.

A nominally civilian government was introduced in Myanmar in 2011, ending nearly 50 years of military rule.

President Thein Sein introduced reforms including freeing hundreds of prisoners and relaxing media censorship.

However, the military still maintains massive influence in Myanmar's politics, with a quarter of seats in both parliamentary chambers reserved for the military.

In a brief statement on Thursday, the USDP said that Shwe Mann was replaced as chairman of the party because he was busy in his role as speaker of parliament.

The statement made no reference to the role of security forces in overnight events.

The USDP is comprised largely of former military officers and was created from a social movement set up by the former junta.

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Shwe Mann was a presidential hopeful when the military handed over power after 49 years of rule in 2011. He had reached a higher rank in the military than his rival Thein Sein, who became president.

Dawood Rehman
Dawood Rehman

The writer is a member of the staff.

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KARACHI - Following are the foreign currency exchange rates for US Dollar, Saudi Riyal, UK Pound Sterling, U.A.E. Dirham, European Euro, and other foreign currencies in Pakistan open market on February 5, 2023 (Sunday).

Source: Forex Association of Pakistan. (last update 09:00 AM)

Currency Symbol Buying Selling
US Dollar ‎USD 280.9 284.25
Euro EUR 299 302
UK Pound Sterling GBP 335 338
U.A.E Dirham AED 75.14 75.44
Saudi Riyal SAR 73.55 73.85
Australian Dollar AUD 192 194
Bahrain Dinar BHD 712.72 720.72
Canadian Dollar CAD 205 207
China Yuan CNY 39.67 40.07
Danish Krone DKK 39.33 39.73
Hong Kong Dollar HKD 34.19 34.54
Indian Rupee INR 3.28 3.39
Japanese Yen JPY 2.5 2.54
Kuwaiti Dinar KWD 878 887
Malaysian Ringgit MYR 62.83 63.43
New Zealand Dollar NZD 173.25 175.25
Norwegians Krone NOK 26.79 27.09
Omani Riyal OMR 696.08 704.08
Qatari Riyal ‎QAR 73.62 74.32
Singapore Dollar SGD 204 206
Swedish Korona SEK 25.61 25.91
Swiss Franc CHF 291.69 294.19
Thai Bhat THB 8.15 8.3

KARACHI – The price of a single tola of 24-karat gold in Pakistan is Rs 205,300 on Sunday. The price of 10 grams of 24k gold was recorded at Rs176,010.

Likewise, 10 grams of 22k gold were being traded for Rs167,318 while a single tola of 22-karat gold was being sold at Rs 195,157.

Note: The gold rate in Pakistan is fluctuating according to the international market so the price is never been fixed. The below rates are provided by local gold markets and Sarafa Markets of different cities.

City Gold Silver
Lahore PKR 205,300 PKR 2,360
Karachi PKR 205,300 PKR 2,360
Islamabad PKR 205,300 PKR 2,360
Peshawar PKR 205,300 PKR 2,360
Quetta PKR 205,300 PKR 2,360
Sialkot PKR 205,300 PKR 2,360
Attock PKR 205,300 PKR 2,360
Gujranwala PKR 205,300 PKR 2,360
Jehlum PKR 205,300 PKR 2,360
Multan PKR 205,300 PKR 2,360
Bahawalpur PKR 205,300 PKR 2,360
Gujrat PKR 205,300 PKR 2,360
Nawabshah PKR 205,300 PKR 2,360
Chakwal PKR 205,300 PKR 2,360
Hyderabad PKR 205,300 PKR 2,360
Nowshehra PKR 205,300 PKR 2,360
Sargodha PKR 205,300 PKR 2,360
Faisalabad PKR 205,300 PKR 2,360
Mirpur PKR 205,300 PKR 2,360

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