Burma’s new pres­i­dent vows to push for peace, rec­on­cil­i­a­tion and the rule of law

The Herald - - INTERNATIONAL -

A LONG-TIME ally of Aung San Suu Kyi loy­al­ist has vowed to pri­ori­tise the rule of law, peace and rec­on­cil­i­a­tion af­ter be­ing sworn in as the coun­try’s new pres­i­dent.

Win Myint will con­tinue his pre­de­ces­sor’s def­er­ence to Ms Suu Kyi as the de facto na­tional leader.

The 66-year-old took his oath of of­fice dur­ing a joint ses­sion of par­lia­ment, pledg­ing loy­alty “to the peo­ple and the repub­lic of the Union” of Burma.

First vice pres­i­dent Myint Swe, a mil­i­tary nom­i­nee, and sec­ond vice pres­i­dent Henry Van Tio took oaths along­side him.

Ms Suu Kyi and pow­er­ful army chief Se­nior Gen­eral Min Aung Hlaing watched the swear­ing-in.

For many years a po­lit­i­cal pris­oner un­der the mil­i­tary that then ruled Burma, Ms Suu Kyi can­not be­come pres­i­dent be­cause the junta-drafted 2008 con­sti­tu­tion bars those with for­eign fam­ily, which di­rectly aimed to bar Ms Suu Kyi from be­com­ing head of state. Her two sons are Bri­tish.

Burma’s mil­i­tary ruled with an iron fist be­fore hand­ing power to a civil­ian gov­ern­ment led by Ms Suu Kyi in 2016.

The mil­i­tary still holds con­sid­er­able power, with con­trol of na­tional se­cu­rity and other gov­ern­ment func­tions and a quar­ter of the seats in Par­lia­ment.

Ms Suu Kyi said when her gov­ern­ment took of­fice that she would be “above the pres­i­dent”. She led the gov­ern­ment in that man­ner dur­ing the pres­i­dency of her close friend, Htin Kyaw.in his in­au­gu­ral speech, Win Myint vowed to work on amend­ing the con­sti­tu­tion.

“As part of the pri­or­i­ties of the union gov­ern­ment, amend­ing the con­sti­tu­tion is the most fun­da­men­tal to build the fed­eral demo­cratic gov­ern­ment,” he said.

Burma’s civil­ian gov­ern­ment has come un­der in­ter­na­tional pres­sure for its han­dling of a cri­sis in north­ern Rakhine state.

Se­cu­rity forces have been ac­cused of eth­nic cleans­ing and se­ri­ous hu­man rights vi­o­la­tions that have caused about 700,000 Ro­hingya Mus­lims to flee to neigh­bour­ing Bangladesh.

“We are fac­ing pres­sure, crit­i­cisms and mis­un­der­stand­ing” Win Myint said.

Picture: Khalil Hamra/ap

„ Pales­tinian pro­test­ers carry a wounded man who was shot by Is­raeli troops dur­ing a demon­stra­tion near the Gaza Strip bor­der with Is­rael in eastern Gaza City.

Picture: Lin­tao Zhang/getty

„ A model pre­pares back­stage be­fore a show by the de­signer Mao Geping on day two of Mercedes-benz China Fash­ion Week Au­tumn/ Win­ter 2018/2019 in Bei­jing.

Picture: Chung Sung-jun/getty

„ Chi­nese sol­diers carry cas­kets with the re­mains of 20 Chi­nese sol­diers killed in the Ko­rea War, hav­ing been re­turned by South Ko­rea.

Picture: Aaron Fav­ila/ap

„ A picture of Philip­pine Pres­i­dent Ro­drigo Duterte is seen on a mock train as pro­test­ers car­ry­ing wooden crosses demon­strate against him.

„ Pres­i­dent Win Myint with Aung San Suu Kyi.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.