Myanmar’s new president chosen in historic vote

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Htin Kyaw elected
Htin Kyaw will take over the office of Myanmar’s new president

Myanmar’s parliament on March 15 elected Htin Kyaw, a close aide and longtime friend of democracy movement leader Aung San Suu Kyi, to become the country’s first civilian president after 54 years of military rule.

Kyaw, aged 69, won 360 of 652 votes cast by Myanmar’s two legislative chambers, paving the way for him to serve as a proxy president for Suu Kyi who is constitutionally barred from becoming president.

In second place was military-nominated Myint Swe, who received 213 votes, followed by the other candidate supported by Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy party, Henry Van Thio, who got 79 votes. They will serve as first vice-president and second vice-president, respectively.

Most of Myint Swe’s votes came from the army’s parliamentary bloc, which is reserved a quarter of seats in parliament, and from military-backed parties. He is seen as a hardliner and close ally of former junta leader Than Shwe.

The new president will replace incumbent president Thein Sein at the end of March following five years of quasi-civilian leadership that has been acknowledged for steering the nation away from outright military rule.

While Suu Kyi has made clear from the beginning that she will rule the country “above” the next president and her choice of Htin Kyaw to act in her place is seen as a testament to her absolute faith in his loyalty, is remains to be seen what role she plans to take or how she will manage the relationship with the new president.

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Reading Time: 1 minute

Htin Kyaw will take over the office of Myanmar’s new president

Myanmar’s parliament on March 15 elected Htin Kyaw, a close aide and longtime friend of democracy movement leader Aung San Suu Kyi, to become the country’s first civilian president after 54 years of military rule.

Reading Time: 1 minute

Htin Kyaw elected
Htin Kyaw will take over the office of Myanmar’s new president

Myanmar’s parliament on March 15 elected Htin Kyaw, a close aide and longtime friend of democracy movement leader Aung San Suu Kyi, to become the country’s first civilian president after 54 years of military rule.

Kyaw, aged 69, won 360 of 652 votes cast by Myanmar’s two legislative chambers, paving the way for him to serve as a proxy president for Suu Kyi who is constitutionally barred from becoming president.

In second place was military-nominated Myint Swe, who received 213 votes, followed by the other candidate supported by Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy party, Henry Van Thio, who got 79 votes. They will serve as first vice-president and second vice-president, respectively.

Most of Myint Swe’s votes came from the army’s parliamentary bloc, which is reserved a quarter of seats in parliament, and from military-backed parties. He is seen as a hardliner and close ally of former junta leader Than Shwe.

The new president will replace incumbent president Thein Sein at the end of March following five years of quasi-civilian leadership that has been acknowledged for steering the nation away from outright military rule.

While Suu Kyi has made clear from the beginning that she will rule the country “above” the next president and her choice of Htin Kyaw to act in her place is seen as a testament to her absolute faith in his loyalty, is remains to be seen what role she plans to take or how she will manage the relationship with the new president.

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