Health Care

Myanmar's President resigns, Vice President takes over

Myanmar's President resigns, Vice President takes over

Mr Htin Kyaw is the son of a revered poet and helped run Ms Suu Kyi's charitable foundation before taking over the presidency.

U Htin Kyaw has been a close confidant of Nobel peace prize laureate and de-factor leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

An announcement posted on the Facebook page of the Myanmar President Office said 71-year-old Htin Kyaw would step down because he wished to take a rest.

His role in the administration was ceremonial as Suu Kyi, who was barred by the military-sponsored constitution from the position, created for herself the position of State Counsellor, effectively becoming the de facto leader. He was nominated for vice president by the military, which enjoys special privileges over the government. The statement said he wished to take a rest, and follows reports that he suffered ill health that forced him to take at least two trips overseas for medical care in the past year.

By mutual agreement, Htin Kyaw in office acted as a proxy for Ms Suu Kyi, who is also foreign minister.

Under the country's legislation, Vice President Myint Swe will serve as acting president until the national parliament elects a new president.

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It added that a new leader will be selected in "within seven working days".

She was later elected to the newly-invented post of State Counselor, officially answering to the president but in reality occupying a powerful spot at the top by the NLD-dominated parliament despite opposition from the military. Ms Suu Kyi had explained publicly - and to public approval - that she would be "above the president".

While Htin Kyaw had valid health concerns, it was also widely known that he had been unhappy in his role, which some critics labeled as that of a "puppet president".

And Myint Swe is not expected to hold the position for long. Since late 2016, more than 750,000 have fled across the border to Bangladesh amid the military crackdown.

However, he was nonetheless the country's head of state and a key domestic ally for Aung San Suu Kyi within her party.

Htin Kyaw took office after the National League for Democracy (NLD) won a landslide victory in the 2015 election.

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