2016-03-15 11:23:00

Htin Kyaw elected as President of Burma

(Vatican Radio) The parliament of Myanmar, also known as Burma, Tuesday elected Htin Kyaw as the country’s new president. His election ushered the longtime opposition party of Aung San Suu Kyi into government.

The 70-year-old, a longtime confidant of the Nobel laureate, will take office on April 1 to become Myanmar's first democratically elected leader after more than half a century of military rule.

Suu Kyi is the party's unquestionable leader but is blocked from becoming president because of a constitutional clause that excludes anyone with a foreign spouse or children.

Speaking to Vatican Radio, Anna Roberts, Executive Director of the Burma Campaign UK says that  Suu Kyi will be ruling from behind the scenes. “Aung San Suu Kyi will effectively be the decision maker and Htin Kyaw more sort of a figure head for government. So he’s chosen because he’s very close to Aung San Suu Kyi, he’s a completely trusted and loyal aid over many years.”

Listen to Lydia O'Kane's interview with Anna Roberts 

Htin Kyaw's secured 360 votes from among 652 ballots cast, winning a solid majority.

After the he said, "Victory! This is sister Aung San Suu Kyi's victory. Thank you," .

Aung San Suu Kyi led her National League for Democracy party to a sweeping victory in Nov. 8 elections.


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