Myanmar to elect new president on Wednesday

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Myanmar set for election on Wednesday
Myanmar set for election on Wednesday

Myanmar will elect its new president on Wednesday, one week after President Htin Kyaw abruptly resigned from his position, parliament announced on Monday.

Htin Kyaw said he wanted to “take a rest” from his current work after becoming Myanmar’s head of state in March 2016, the first civilian leader after over a half-century of military rule.

Myanmar’s lower house of parliament on Friday elected 66-year-old former lower house speaker Win Myint as vice president.

The same house is expected to select Win Myint as president on Wednesday.

Both Htin Kyaw and Win Myint are stalwarts of the ruling National League for Democracy (NLD) and close to de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who is barred from the presidency and rules the civilian government under the title of state counsellor, above the presidency.

Myanmar’s government and Suu Kyi in particular have been criticised internationally for the treatment of minority Rohingya, nearly 700,000 of whom have fled to Bangladesh during a military campaign described as “ethnic cleansing” by the UN.

The NLD swept to power in 2015 elections, the first fully democratic polls after decades of military rule.

The military, however, kept 25 per cent of seats in all regional and national parliaments and control of three key ministries.

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