Myanmar's President resigns, Vice President takes over
Mar 24, 2018, 05:44
The announcement of the President Office said U Htin Kyaw's resignation is effective immediately.
U Htin Kyaw has been a close confidant of Nobel peace prize laureate and de-factor leader Aung San Suu Kyi.
"Myanmar President U Htin Kyaw resigned on March 21, 2018", a statement on the president's official Facebook page said. He has been the president of Myanmar since 2016, when the National League for Democracy (NLD) took power after winning the general parliamentary elections in November 2015. The 71-year-old president, who has had a heart problem in the past, has been in poor health and was found to have lost a lot of weight recently. A clause in the charter bars anyone with a foreign spouse or child from holding the job.
Htin Kyaw is an old school friend of Suu Kyi, who was loyal to her and advised her at the peak of her political struggle and house arrest.
Under the country's legislation, Vice President Myint Swe will serve as acting president until the national parliament elects a new president.
Under Myanmar law, the lower house shall elect a new speaker as soon as possible, and nominate someone to run against the existing two vice presidents to fill the vacant post of president.
Suu Kyi, 72, heads the ruling NLD but was barred from the office of president by constitutional restrictions.
Domestically Suu Kyi still enjoys broad popular support but, two years into government, her party has disappointed sky-high expectations of rapid development and economic growth, while the Rakhine crisis has recast the global narrative of the country. Myint Swe was also regarded as being close to Senior Gen.
The resignation of Myanmar's president yesterday has thrown the spotlight onto the Southeast Asian country's delicate and complicated power-sharing politics.
He and others were taken off the list in late 2016 as a gesture of support from Washington to Suu Kyi's government, installed earlier that year.
Myanmar's Suu Kyi has come under intense pressure to address violence carried out by the country's military in the Rakhine state.
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