Parliament has elected U Htin Kyaw of the National League for Democracy as president with 360 votes, setting the stage for Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s trusted associate to become Myanmar’s first head of government with no military background for more than 50 years.
The NLD’s overwhelming majority in the two combined houses of parliament ensured that U Htin Kyaw, a 69-year-old academic and long-time aide of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, would become the NLD leader’s proxy president to succeed ex-general U Thein Sein whose five-year term ends on March 30.
“Today’s result is a triumph for Daw Aung San Suu Kyi,” U Htin Kyaw told reporters before getting into his car and leaving parliament following the vote.
Ex-General U Myint Swe, the military’s candidate, was elected first vice president with 213 votes. The appointed military bloc in parliament holds 166 seats, 25 percent of the total, while the military-backed USDP led by the outgoing has 41 seats in the two houses.
Henry Van Thio, an NLD upper house MP and an ethnic Chin Christian, was elected second vice president with 79 votes.