The Straits Times: Trusted NLD veteran set to be next Myanmar president

March 11, 2016 |Nirmal Ghosh  | The Straits Times

Sixty-nine-year-old Htin Kyaw, a trusted veteran of the National League for Democracy (NLD) and long-time family friend of party leader Aung San Suu Kyi, is set to become Myanmar’s next president after being nominated by the party.

His name was read out in the Lower House yesterday morning, in a culmination of weeks of speculation as Ms Suu Kyi herself is barred from the post under the junta-era Constitution because of her foreign family ties.

Her late husband and two sons are British citizens.

The new president will form a Cabinet and formally take power on April 1. The unprecedented transition marks the first time in power for a party that has spent decades in the wilderness under successive iron-fisted military regimes, until the military opened up the political space with a calibrated transition in 2011.

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Mr Nyantha Maw Lin, managing director (Myanmar) of consultancy firm Vriens & Partners, wrote in an e-mail: “Htin Kyaw is loyal, trusted and credentialed, and this explains the party’s decision to nominate him.

“Both the NLD and the military will need to cooperate given the shared stakes they have in Myanmar’s continued political and economic development.”

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