A spokesman for the ruling National League for Democracy (NLD) on Sunday denied reports that State Counselor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi would be retiring any time soon.
â€œThere are reports that Daw Aung San Suu Kyi would retire. I didnâ€™t say that. I said she would be able to retire soon if party members worked hard. It is what she always says. But it doesnâ€™t mean she will retire soon,â€ U Myo Nyunt said.
He made the remarks following media reports that Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, who also chairs the NLD, told members of her partyâ€™s Central Executive Committee (CEC) on Saturday that she would like to stand down if possible.
The meeting in Naypyitaw was just a social gathering and political issues were not discussed, U Myo Nyunt said.
â€œIt was just a casual conversation. It has been a long time since she last met with CEC members. And as [vice president-elect] U Win Myint is about to take the top job, we had a social gathering with old and new executives,â€ he said.
The military-drafted 2008 Constitution bars government officials from being involved in party politics, so the social gathering was therefore legal, the spokesman added.
â€œShe must remain the leader of the country, considering her influence and caliber. It is not because we donâ€™t sympathize with her [considering her age and workload]. But she should hold an important role in the country as long as she is alive, and I believe she will,â€ said NLD lawmaker U Nay Myo Tun, who represents Yangon Regionâ€™s Htantabin Township.
â€œShe said she was old and would like to retire as a way of giving her party members friendly encouragement to work harder,â€ he added.
The 73-year-old was too exhausted to speak during a trip to Australia last week and spent most of her time there in bed, said NLD CEC member U Win Htein, who visited her in Australia.
â€œFar from chatting with her, she was sick in bed because of jet lag. She had to cancel her speech, and the meeting with the Australian chief minister,â€ U Win Htein told this news paper.