At Last, a President

by Alan Nichols

The nominee for the new President of Myanmar/Burma, has now been identified. U Htin Kyaw was yesterday nominated by the National League for Democracy, the party of Aung San Suu Kyi as Vice President.

Central executive committee member of the National League for Democracy U Htin Kyaw arrives for the opening of the new parliament in Naypyitaw

Above: Central executive committee member of the National League for Democracy U Htin Kyaw (REUTERS/Soe Zeya Tun)

The consequence is that he is to be nominated today (March 11) as President. Aunt San Suu Kyi was not eligible to be nominated although her party won 82% of the seats available last November in the first ‘free and fair election’ since 1962. U Htin Kyaw, 70, whose father in-law, U Lwin was a founding member of the NLD is a trusted loyalist of Aung San Suu Kyi. Tin Kyaw is the son of Min Thuwun, one of Myanmar’s best known poets and his wife Suu Suu Lwin is an NLD member of parliament who now chairs Parliament’s International Relations Committee.

Htin Kyaw is Oxford educated and has been CEO of Suu Kyi’s Foundation which is in effect her personal charity.

Today, March 11, the nominee for Vice President should be elected. The next step is that the NLD has less then three weeks to finalise ministerial appointments before a formal handover which marks the end of President Thein Sein’s five year term.

The most important ministerial appointment will be whether Aung San Suu Kyi becomes Chief Minister or Foreign Minister which would make her a member of the National Security Committee and which would enable her to be ‘above the President’.

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