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Myanmar President Htin Kyaw resigns

Myanmar President Htin Kyaw resigns

Myanmar's President Htin Kyaw, one of the most loyal allies of the country's leader Aung San Suu Kyi, has resigned due to ill health, the government said Wednesday (Mar 21). Htin Kyaw, 71, was sworn in as Myanmar's official President in 2016 after Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy (NLD) party won landmark elections.

The President of Myanmar Htin Kyaw has resigned, his office has announced. No reason was given, but there have been growing concerns in recent months about the 71-year-old's health after he appeared frail at official functions.

Htin Kyaw was sworn in as president in 2016 after landmark elections which ended decades of military leadership. But he was essentially a ceremonial leader, with long-time opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi acting as de facto President. The statement posted on the presidency's Facebook page said Htin Kyaw wanted to "take a rest".

Vice-President Myint Swe, a former general, would act as president until a new president is chosen within seven days, it said.

Ms Suu Kyi, who was jailed for years under the military junta, was banned from taking the top job. A clause in the constitution - widely seen as being deliberately designed to keep her from office - states that no-one with children of another nationality can be president. She had two children with her late British husband.

Htin Kyaw was her childhood friend, long-time advisor and some time driver. He was widely seen as quiet and dependable, and someone she could trust entirely.