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Iran Press TV

Myanmar swears in 1st civilian president

Iran Press TV

Wed Mar 30, 2016 5:38AM

Htin Kyaw is officially sworn in as Myanmar's first democratically-elected civilian president, ending more than five decades of military rule in the country.

Htin Kyaw, of the opposition National League for Democracy (NLD), took the oath at the parliament in the capital, Naypyidaw, on Wednesday together with his two vice presidents.

"I, Htin Kyaw, will be loyal to the union and the people of the union," he said, reading from a written pledge, while repeating after the house speaker Mann Win Khaing Than. "I will respect this constitution and the laws of the nation."

The party, whose president is Myanmar's veteran politician Aung San Suu Kyi (seen below), won about 80 percent of the available parliamentary seats last November.

Suu Kyi, however, was herself barred from becoming president because of a constitutional clause that excludes from the position anyone who has a foreign spouse or children. Her two sons are British, as was her late husband.

She has made it clear that 70-year-old Htin Kyaw – a long-time confidante of hers – would be acting as her proxy and that she would be running the government from behind the scenes.

Suu Kyi was placed under house arrest in 1989 on the then-ruling military's orders. In 1990, the junta called a general election, in which the NLD received 59 percent of the vote, guaranteeing it 80 percent of the seats at the legislature. However, the results were nullified and the military refused to hand over power. Suu Kyi was released from detention no sooner than 2010.

The military still holds 25 percent of the seats in the parliament, meaning that no government can amend the constitution without its approval.

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