MYANMAR– Aung San Suu Kyi(photo), 70, is barred from becoming president by the junta-scripted constitution but has declared that she will steer the government anyway, taking on a clutch of cabinet positions including that of foreign minister.
However a close aide to Suu Kyi was sworn in as Myanmar’s president on Wednesday, a role that will see him act as a proxy for the pro-democracy figurehead and carry the hopes of a nation emerging from military rule.
Htin Kyaw takes power from former general Thein Sein who has helmed far-reaching reforms since 2011. The handover at the junta-built parliament in the capital Naypyidaw marks the final act of a prolonged transition since Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy party swept the November elections.
The NLD won 80% of parliamentary seats, handing them a massive public mandate to rule after generations of army domination.
Wearing a collarless shirt in the NLD’s peach-coloured parliamentary colours, the bespectacled Htin Kyaw pledged to be “faithful to the people of the republic of the union of Myanmar”.
Htin Kyaw is known among political commentators as a party insider with close ties to Suu Kyi going back many decades, including as one of her classmates at high school in Yangon.
Born in 1946, the 69-year-old is the son of a famous poet and writer, Min Thu Wun, who ran as an NLD candidate in the 1990 elections.Htin Kyaw is married to NLD politician Su Su Lwin, whose father U Lwin is one of the party's founding members.He studied economics at the University of Yangon and went on to study computer science.He had a stint as a government employee while Myanmar was under military rule but was jailed in 2000 after he tested the limits of Suu Kyi's house arrest at the time.Until his election, Htin Kyaw was the head of the Daw Khin Kyi Foundation, a charity named after Aung Sang Suu Kyi's mother.
Source:Al Jazeera, Agencies