Myanmar president steps down

24 March, 2018, 05:43 | Author: Joshua Bennett
  • Htin Kyaw and Aung San Suu Kyi

These two poles are represented by commander-in-chief Min Aung Hlaing, and Aung San Suu Kyi, who has ruled above the president as state counsellor since the last elections.

Myanmar President Htin Kyaw has stepped down saying he is "taking a rest".

Suu Kyi is constitutionally barred from being president because she is the parent of children born outside of Myanmar.

No reason was given for his sudden resignation, but there has been growing concern in recent months about the 71-year-old's health after he appeared frail at an official function.

According to the notice, a replacement would be in place within 7 working days.

Myint was elected the Speaker in Febuary 2016.

He added that Htin Kyaw's stepping down was widely expected because of his health, but that "there won't be much of an impact unless his successor provides some unexpected surprises, good or bad".


Win Myint, 66, is also a close aid of Suu Kyi and belongs to her ruling party.

The NLD must explore another possible way forward: for the new president to create a position of greater responsibility, outside of Suu Kyi's control.

And Myint Swe is not expected to hold the position for long.

However, insiders close to Suu Kyi's office played down any suggestions of crisis, pointing to new efforts by the government to finalize an ambitious new economic reform program, and recent agreements signed with China and other countries on trade, aid and investment. Since late 2016, more than 750,000 have fled across the border to Bangladesh amid the military crackdown.

Some critics noted the abrupt timing of Htin Kyaw's announcement - as Suu Kyi journeys back from attending the ASEAN-Australia summit in Sydney, and contends with the mounting worldwide backlash over the brutal military campaign against Rohingya minority Muslims in the country's western Rakhine State.

He spent time in jail for helping Ms Suu Kyi try to make an unsanctioned trip under a previous military government, and served as a director of a charitable foundation named after Ms Suu Kyi's mother. Van Thio is a member of Myanmar's Chin ethnic minority.

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