Htin Kyaw has been sworn in as Myanmar’s new president after more than five decades of military rule in the country. In a ceremony in the parliament on Wednesday, democracy icon and leader of the ruling party Aung San Suu Kyi was sworn in as minister of foreign affairs, education and energy, and will also hold the president’s office portfolio.
She was unable to become president because of a constitutional block even though she led her National League for Democracy party (NLD) to a landslide win in general elections last November.
Myanmar has been under military or military-dominated rule since a coup in 1962, and the elections in November which brought the new government to power were the first openly contested polls since 1990. Htin Kyaw is a close confidant of Myanmar’s Nobel Peace laureate Suu Kyi and longtime member of NLD.
Two vice-presidents, one of them a military nominee, are also due to take the oath of office, the state-run Global New Light of Myanmar reported. Htin Kyaw takes over from former general Thein Sein, who has led the country since 2011. Under Thein Sein, the government set in motion reforms which have opened up the once-isolated country to the outside world, including to foreign investment.