(Mizzima) – Burmese President Thein Sein met opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi in Naypyitaw on Wednesday for about 90 minutes, only their second face-to-face meeting since the country embarked on an extraordinary series of reforms and a by-election. Upon her return to Rangoon, Suu Kyi told reporters the meeting was "good," but she declined to comment on the topics discussed.
National League for Democracy spokesman Nyan Win told The Associated Press the talks involved democratization and the peace process with ethnic rebels, as well as parliamentary affairs.
An historic meeting between Suu Kyi and Thein Sein last August set the stage for the NLD to become a political party, to rejoin electoral politics and to collaborate in promoting political reconciliation. Suu Kyi has rejected suggestions that she would take a role in government as a minister, saying she preferred to function as a Member of Parliament.
Following the meeting, Suu Kyi had lunch with Thein Sein and his wife, Khin Khin Win.
Suu Kyi involvement in the by-elections gave the government a legitimacy it lacked in the 2010 national elections, which saw the former military regime transform itself into a quasi-civilian Parliament though clearly dominated by a military wing of former generals. The NLD boycotted the November 2010 general election, calling it unfair and undemocratic.
While she called the by-election campaign not “free and fair,” her party nevertheless captured 43 seats in Parliament in the elections to become the main opposition party in Parliament, with a little less than 7 per cent representation in the lawmaking body.
During their first meeting last August, Suu Kyi and Thein Sein had “frank and friendly discussions” to “find ways and means of cooperation,” according to an official statement at that time.
Suu Kyi, 66, told reporters she believed Thein Sein was sincere and “genuinely wishes for democratic reforms.”
Suu Kyi was elected a member of the Lower House in the April 1 by-election. The adjourned third session of the Parliament will resume on April 23.