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Htin Kyaw was sworn in as president of Burma (Myanmar), the first president elected democratically in the country in more than 50 years at the ceremony held in the parliament in Naypyitaw.


Htin Kyaw, 69, was elected by the legislature where the National League for Democracy (NLD), has absolute majority thanks to a landslide win in elections last November.

The new president will take over from former general Thein Sein, who came to power in 2011 after an election organized by the military junta.

As well as Htin Kyaw, two vice presidents: Lieutenant General Myint Swe and the ethnic Chin member of parliament for the NLD, Henry Van Thio are due to be sworn in as well.

After the oath, the new head of state will formalize the handover of power with Thein Sein in another ceremony at the presidential palace that will wrap up with a dinner.

The new president will rule as a confidant of Suu Kyi, who is not qualified for the presidency because of a rule in the Constitution adopted by the military junta, which vetoes candidates with foreign families.

Suu Kyi, whose two sons are British nationals, is expected to lead four ministries: minister of president’s office, foreign affairs, electric power and energy, and education.

The new president and his government will begin his term on April 1.

Burma was ruled by the military from 1962 to 2011, when the last military junta was dissolved after transferring power to a quasi-civilian government led by Thein Sein.

Over a year after Thein Sein began a process of political, economic and social reforms, the European Union agreed to suspend sanctions and the United States also agreed to lift some restrictions against the country.

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