Myanmar Parliament elected Htin Kyaw as first civilian President

Mar 15, 2016 12:05 IST

Htin KyawMyanmar's Parliament on 15 March 2016 elected Htin Kyaw as the first civilian president to lead the country after 53 years of military rule. Army took power in a 1962 coup.

He is a close aide and adviser of Aung San Suu Kyi, the leader of National League for Democracy (NLD) party.

He was elected with 360 of the total 652 votes casted while, military-nominated Myint Swe received 213 votes and stood second followed by the other NLD candidate, Henry Van Thio, who got 79 votes.

They will serve as first vice-president and second vice-president respectively.

Kyaw will replace Thein Sein who will step down at the end of March 2016 after five years of army-backed rule.

Htin Kyaw was elected under a complex system in which the two chambers of parliament nominated two presidential candidates and military MPs nominated a third, assuring the army continued influence.

The army also retains 25 percent of seats in parliament under a 2008 constitution that it drafted, giving it an effective veto on constitutional change. It also keeps key ministerial portfolios related to security.

Back ground

The NLD swept to victory in historic elections in November 2015 with a huge majority in both houses of parliament. However, Aung San Suu Kyi, the leader of NLD, could not run for president because a clause in the constitution says that anyone whose children have another nationality cannot become president. Her children hold British passports.

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