Myanmar President resigns on suspected health grounds

Myanmar President resigns on suspected health grounds

21/03/18

Anthea Ow, Content Producer

The President of Myanmar, Htin Kyaw, has stepped down today on suspected health grounds, the BBC reports.

According to an official statement, Htin Kyaw, 71, has resigned “in order to take rest from the current duties and responsibilities.” It added that former general and current Vice-President, Myint Swe, would act as president until a new appointment is made within seven days.

The resignation follows concerns over Htin Kyaw’s health in recent months, after he appeared frail at official events.

Htin Kyaw, a close aide of Aung San Suu Kyi, was sworn in as Myanmar’s official president in 2016 after Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) party’s sweeping victory in the country’s landmark 2015 elections. He was the country’s first civilian leader after 56 years of military rule, but served as a proxy for Suu Kyi, the de facto leader banned from top office by the country’s Constitution.

Myanmar’s NLD-dominated parliament will now have to choose a new president in seven days.

It is likely that Win Myint, 66, speaker of the Myanmar parliament’s lower house, will be nominated as President. Win Myint tellingly resigned from his post today – a move observers say is to prepare for his nomination, The Straits Times reports.

He is a central executive committee member of the NLD and a Suu Kyi ally.