U Htin Kyaw named Myanmar President

U Htin Kyaw has been named as Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s candidate for the presidency, ending four months of uncertainty following the landslide election victory of her National League for Democracy.

Aung San Suu Kyi (C) accompanied by Htin Kyaw (L), speaks to NLD supporters from the gate of her Yangon home on November 13, 2010 after her release from 15 years under house arrest. U Htin Kyaw has been named as the party’s choice for president. Photo: AFPAung San Suu Kyi (C) accompanied by Htin Kyaw (L), speaks to NLD supporters from the gate of her Yangon home on November 13, 2010 after her release from 15 years under house arrest. U Htin Kyaw has been named as the party’s choice for president.

Photo Cedit: AFP

Photo Credit: AFP


The NLD formally nominated U Htin Kyaw, a trusted advisor, as its candidate in a session of the lower house.

In the absence of an official profile from the NLD, there was initial confusion whether U Htin Kyaw studied at Oxford University, and whether he had served as Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s driver. Colleagues later clarified he had studied at the University of London for a period in 1972 and had only acted as an occasional driver for the party leader.

The military –backed Union Solidarity and Development Party, which was crushed in last November’s elections, also put forward a candidate, although the current ruling party now only holds a handful of seats. Sai Mauk Kham, the current vice president, was nominated as the party’s lower house candidate, and U Khin Aung Myint, former speaker of the upper house, was expected to be named as its upper house candidate.

The two chambers are scheduled to vote tomorrow morning to select one candidate each.

Parliament’s bloc of appointed military MPs do not take part in those votes. Under the constitution, the military submits the name of its candidate directly to the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw, the combined sitting of the two chambers which then votes to choose the president, first vice president and second vice president.

That vote is expected next week. Given the NLD’s parliamentary majority, the election of U Htin Kyaw as president is all but assured. President U Thein Sein’s five-year term ends on March 30.

Amyotha MP from the Chin state Henry Van Thio (C) arrives at parliament on March 10, 2016. The NLD’s Amyotha Hluttaw contingent nominated Van Thio, 57, as its choice for Myanmar’s vice president. Photo: AFPAmyotha MP from the Chin state Henry Van Thio (C) arrives at parliament on March 10, 2016. The NLD’s Amyotha Hluttaw contingent nominated Van Thio, 57, as its choice for Myanmar’s vice president.

In the upper house the NLD nominated Chin MP and party member, 57-year-old Henry Van Thio as its choice for vice president. There had been speculation that the NLD intended to nominate a senior ethnic Shan politician for that post.

This story has been updated to correct erroneously reported details of Htin Kyaw’s educational history and role within the NLD.

U Htin Kyaw – loyalty trumps

U Htin Kyaw speaks with the media outside Myanmar’s Pyithu hluttaw on Febuary 1, 2016. The NLD nominated Htin Kyaw, a close advisor of Aung San Suu Kyi, to be Myanmar’s next president. Photo: AFPU Htin Kyaw speaks with the media outside Myanmar’s Pyithu hluttaw on Febuary 1, 2016. The NLD nominated Htin Kyaw, a close advisor of Aung San Suu Kyi, to be Myanmar’s next president. Photo: AFP

U Htin Kyaw, named today as the NLD choice for president, has long been trusted by Daw Aung San Suu Kyi who has repeatedly stated that being barred by the constitution from the top job will not stop her from leading the government.

The 69-year-old hails from an illustrious family and is a senior executive in the NLD leader’s charitable foundation. Loyalty will have been his strongest attribute in his selection.

U Htin Kyaw has been described as practically descended from NLD royalty. His father was the famous writer and poet Min Thu Wun, who won a seat in the 1990 election. His father-in-law, U Lwin, was a co-founder of the NLD and held the position of secretary and treasurer. Both have since passed away.

Born in 1946, U Htin Kyaw is a year younger than Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. He graduated from Yangon University of Economics in 1962 and received his degree from University of London a decade later. He writes under the pen name Dala Ban.

He is married to Daw Su Su Lwin, daughter of U Lwin and a member of the Pyithu Hluttaw. In 2012, she won her father’s old constituency of Thongwa in a by-election, and was re-elected last year.

Source: Myanmar Times

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