Myanmar parliament elected Htin Kyaw of the National League for Democracy (NLD) party as its new President. He is the first civilian who will be leading the country. The country was under the military rule for the past 50 years, and now it will be ruled by a non-military president. Htin Kyaw is a very close friend and also an adviser to NLD leader Aung San Suu Kyi. As it is known that Suu Kyi is barred from the presidency under the constitution drafted by army, she has cleared the air that she will be ‘above the president’ and Htin Kyaw will only act as a proxy.
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon congratulated Htin Kyaw, as he has been elected as the first civilian president after 5 decades. He said that this is a very significant step towards the advancement of democratic reforms of the government. The official statement reads, “The Secretary -General hopes the people of Myanmar will continue steadfastly on the path of democracy and national reconciliation and at this defining moment of transition, calls upon President-elect U Htin Kyaw as well as all other significant stakeholders to work inclusively towards a smooth and peaceful consolidation of unity and stability in the country.”
He also reaffirmed the eagerness and enthusiasm of the United Nations to keep on supporting Myanmar in terms of peace, human rights and development so that it benefits all the people of Myanmar.
United Nations has been eagerly involved in the transition of the country for past 50 years of the military rule. After the results were declared, Htin Kyaw, 69-year old academic and long time aide of the Nobel Laureate Suu Kyi, said, “Today’s result is a triumph for NDL leader Aung San Suu Kyi.”
He was elected with 360 votes, whereas Myint Swe (who was directly appointed by the military), was elected as the vice president for the first time with 213 votes. He is from the Union Solidarity and the Development Party (UNDP). He will be the first vice president while Henry Van Thio, an ethnic minority Chin candidate will become the second vice president.
Myanmar held elections in the month of November. The new government will be sworn in on March 30 and will assume office from April 1.