Htin Kyaw elected as first civilian President of Myanmar
Myanmar’s Parliament elected Htin Kyaw (69) as the first civilian (non-military) President of the country after 53 years of military rule.
He was candidate of National League for Democracy (NLD) party and was elected after securing 360 of the total 652 casted votes.
Military-nominated Myint Swe received 213 votes and stood second and was followed by the other NLD candidate, Henry Van Thio at third position who got 79 votes. They will serve as first vice-president and second vice-president of the country.
About Htin Kyaw
- Htin Kyaw is a close aide and adviser of Nobel Peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi who is the leader of NLD party that has majority in the parliament.
- He will replace Thein Sein as President who will step down at the end of March 2016 i.e. after end of five years of army-backed rule.
- He was born on 20 July 1946 and his father was a legendary writer and early member of the NLD.
- In a varied career, he had worked as a university teacher and also held positions in the Myanmar’s Ministry of Industry in the late 1970s and 1980s
Presidential Election Process
- As per Myanmar’s constitution adopted in 2008, President is elected under a complex system in which the two chambers of parliament nominate two presidential candidates and military MPs nominated a third candidate, assuring the army continued influence.
- The army also retains 25% of seats in parliament under the constitution giving it an effective veto on constitutional change. It also keeps 3 key ministerial portfolios related to national security viz. Defence, Home Affiars and Border Affairs.
In November 2015 general elections, NLD had swept historic victory with a huge majority in both houses of parliament. However, leader of NLD Aung San Suu Kyi was barred from running for post of President because a clause in the 2008 constitution that says anyone whose children having nationality of another country cannot become president. Her children hold British passports.