USDP shake-up could confirm President Thein Sein wants a second term

The ouster of Shwe Mann as chairman of the ruling Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) less than three months before a landmark election in Myanmar was dramatic confirmation of President Thein Sein's desire for a second term in office, analysts have said according to a Reuters report on 13 August.

On Thursday security forces surrounded the USDP headquarters in Naypyitaw and both Shwe Mann, long considered a presidential frontrunner, and the USDP's secretary general were replaced by Thein Sein allies.

"This opens the way for (Thein Sein's) second term . . . His main rival is now gone."Reuters quoted Khin Zaw Win, director of the Tampadipa Institute, a Yangon-based think tank, as saying.

According to a USDP statement on Thursday, Thein Sein "transferred the post of party chairman" to his ally Htay Oo, however Shwe Mann, retains his influential position as speaker of Myanmar's lower house the report said.

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