Myanmar president and Suu Kyi confidant Htin Kyaw resigns

Sergio Conner
March 21, 2018

Myanmar's civilian president, Htin Kyaw, has resigned with immediate effect "in order to take rest from the current duties and responsibilities", his office said in a statement posted on Facebook on Wednesday.

First Vice President U Myint Swe will serve as acting president according to the constitution until the parliament re-elects the president, U Zaw Htay, director-general of the President's Office told Xinhua.

Myanmar's Vice President Myint Swe, a former general, will move into the role until a new president is in place, according to the constitution.

Burma's president, a close friend of leader Aung San Suu Kyi, has announced he will retire.

Suu Kyi is known for keeping her cards close to her chest and operating only with a very narrow group of trusted acolytes.

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The 72-year-old is a supporter of India's Act East Policy and was also the first Myanmar president to visit India in 2016.

FILE PHOTO- Htin Kyaw, the National League for Democracy (NLD) nominated presidential candidate for the lower house of parliament, arrives at Parliament in Naypyitaw February 1, 2016. Than Shwe, who headed the last military government. Van Thio is a member of Myanmar's Chin ethnic minority.

"The military was opposed to the creation of the (state counsellor) post right from the beginning". "And also keep in mind that the new president might have to take over totally from Aung San Suu Kyi".

Htin's resignation comes at a testing time for Aung San as she faces growing worldwide resentment over the Rakhine crisis.

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