NAYPYITAW: Myanmar’s parliament on Wednesday elected as the country’s new president a long-time loyalist of Aung San Suu Kyi who is expected to carry on his predecessor’s practice of deferring to her as her nation’s de facto leader.
The election of Win Myint comes as Suu Kyi’s civilian government has struggled to implement peace and national reconciliation, with the powerful military still embroiled in combat with ethnic rebels and under heavy international criticism for its brutal counterinsurgency campaign against the Muslim Rohingya minority.
Myanmar’s military ruled the country for a half-century during which it was accused of widespread abuses before partially handing power to a civilian government in 2016. It remains in charge of security matters and still faces accusations of rights abuses.
Win Myint, the vice president selected as presidential candidate by the lower house and backed by Suu Kyi’s ruling party, received 403 votes from the combined houses. Myint Swe, the vice president with the military’s backing, had 211 votes and Henry Van Tio, the vice president selected by the upper house, had 18.—
Published in Dawn, March 29th, 2018