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Myanmar elects U. Win Myint as new President

The Myanmar parliament on Wednesday elected the country’s lower house speaker and legislator U. Win Myint as the new president.

Myint replaces U. Htin Kyaw, Myanmar’s first democratically elected president, who resigned last week amid concerns about his health over the last few months. The former is a lawyer by profession, Myanmar Times reported.

The newly sworn president is a member of the ruling National League for Democracy (NLD), which came into power with a brute majority in March 2016, ending decades of military dictatorial rule.

Myint is considered a trusted confidant of Myanmar’s de facto leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, who is legally barred from holding the post of the president by the military-drafted constitution.

In 1981, he became a senior lawyer in the Yangon high court and went on to become the lawyer of Myanmar’s top court within a few years.

Myint was first elected to the parliament in 1990, but was denied a seat by the military. He was however, successful in the 2012 by-elections and 2015 general elections.

His appointment as the new president comes at a time, when the Suu Kyi administration has been under massive pressure from the international community in handling the Rohingya crisis and the slow implementation of political and economic reforms.

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