After a 54-year-long direct or indirect military rule, Myanmar’s parliament has elected Htin Kyaw as country’s new president. He has become first Head of State who does not hail from a military background since the 1960s.
Suu Kyi, who has been the face of the pro-democracy movement, led her National League for Democracy (NLD) to a landslide election victory in November, 2015. She, however, was barred from the top office by a constitution drafted by the former junta.
Speaker Mann Win Khaing Than announced the result, “I hereby announce the president of Myanmar is Htin Kyaw, as he won the majority of votes.” The joint session of the two houses of parliament broke into thundering applause following the announcement. Htin Kyaw will take office from April 1.
Htin Kyaw is a longtime confidante of Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi. He was earlier confirmed as one of the three final candidates to be Myanmar’s next president. Kyaw was approved in the lower house of parliament by a 274-29 vote to be chosen a finalist for presidential election.
Ending a four-month wait for the identity of a president expected to rule her name, Myanmar’s NLD had proposed the close friend of Aung San Suu Kyi as its presidential candidate. Htin Kyaw joined the National League for Democracy (NLD) party around two months ago as its lower house candidate. He runs a charity founded by Suu Kyi and has been close to her since the mid-1990s.
Before his nomination was revealed, Suu Kyi, in a statement, had urged patience from her supporters.“I would like to appeal for people to support and stand by the NLD with wisdom and far-sightedness,” she said. “The NLD is determined to meet people’s expectations and will do its best.”