Myanmar Elects Former Vice President Win Myint As New President

| March 29 , 2018 , 13:05 IST

Myanmar's parliament on Wednesday elected former Vice President Win Myint as the country's new president, a week after the resignation of his predecessor.

Former president Htin Kyaw stepped down as leader of the country last week due to growing health concerns, the Parliament then had seven days to choose a successor from a short-list of the three vice-presidents.

In the vote, Win Myint won overwhelmingly with 403 votes out of 636. Acting president U Myint Swe won 211 and incumbent vice president Henry Van Thio took 18 votes. 

Win Myint, a close aide of State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, has been a speaker in the Myanmar Parliament's lower house since 2012 and was widely tipped for the top job.

But his role will be essentially ceremonial, with Suu Kyi acting as de facto president.

Earlier last week, Win Myint, 66, had been made a vice-president, a further sign he was likely to assume the presidency.

As a long-time member of Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy, he is seen as a Suu Kyi loyalist.

While leaving parliament, Win Myint told reporters: "I am going to serve my duty as well as I can."

He is expected to be sworn in later this week.