NAYPYITAW, Myanmar, Oct. 14 (UPI) -- Myanmar's new president supports democracy and protecting the rights of minorities, a key official said as the ruling party opened a key leadership conference.
President Thein Sein, who became president last year, was among the attendees at the three-day conference convened Sunday by the ruling Union Solidarity and Development Party.
"In a democratic system, we have to keep in mind that the majority needs to respect the wishes of the minority, while all must follow the majority's decision," said Shwe Mann, the Parliament speaker whom the BBC called a front-runner for the USDP leadership
The USDP, which has the backing of the military, plans to select new leadership at the conference and map out a strategy for the future. The party's comfortable position was upended in April when the new opposition party NLD made a strong showing in the April by-elections.
"As a main party, we'll be discussing the 2015 elections," Win Than, a USDP member of Parliament told the BBC. "During the conference, we expect to see a strong new collective leadership for the party, to be prepared for change."
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