Htin Kyaw is Myanmar’s first civilian president

Myanmar’s parliament has chosen Htin Kyaw as the country’s next president. Actually he is the first civilian leader after more than 50 years of military rule. Do you know? He is member of the National League for Democracy (NLD) party.

Myanmar’s parliament has appointed a close friend and ally of Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi.

The son of a revered poet who has helped run Suu Kyi’s charitable foundation in recent years, Htin Kyaw is billed as someone with a high level of education, personal standing and absolute trustworthiness to “The Lady”.

Myanmar is undergoing a dramatic transformation from an isolated and repressed pariah state to a rapidly opening aspiring democracy. Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy won a thumping victory at elections in November, allowing her party to dominate Myanmar’s two legislative houses.

Htin Kyaw will act as a proxy for Ms Suu Kyi, whose National League for Democracy achieved a landslide election win in November, but the veteran rights activist is barred from the presidency by the ruling military junta’s constitution. Suu Kyi has pledged to pull the strings of power from “above” her appointee, though in this delicate and secretive transition, she has not revealed how the arrangement will work.

Htin Kyaw will assume his position on April 1st. His appointment is the latest stage in Myanmar’s epochal transformation from an isolated southeast Asian state, shunned by the international community, into a democracy that is opening up to the world.

However despite the seeming victory, the army continues to cast its shadow over the once isolated nation. The military still has 25 percent of the seats reserved for them in Parliament. One of the two vice presidents in the new government will be Myint Swe, the army’s nominee. Henry Van Thio, the other NLD nominee, belongs to one of the many minority groups in the country. Swe will serve as first vice president and Thio as the second.

India-Myanmar ties

Suu Kyi has been blunt about her disappointment with New Delhi, since she was released from house arrest in 2011. Having grown up and studied in Delhi, she naturally expected India to back her.

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