Myanmar swears in a new government after decades of military rule

Myanmar swears in a new government after decades of military rule
By Catherine Hardy  with AFP, Reuters

New president Htin Kyaw is a close confidante of Nobel Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi

Our new government will implement national reconciliation

  • New government sworn in
  • Ends 54 years of military rule
  • Aung San Suu Kyi will be foreign minister

Myanmar’s new government

Htin Kyaw has been sworn in as president of Myanmar.

He took the oath of office in a joint session of Myanmar’s newly-elected parliament on Wednesday.

His two vice-presidents Myint Swe and Henry Van Tio also took the oath.

Longtime opposition

Htin Kyaw is a close confidante of Aung San Suu Kyi.

The ceremony ushers her longtime opposition party into government after 54 years of direct or indirect military rule.

The National League for Democracy (NLD), won a landslide victory in an election last November.

She is ineligible to be president herself but says she will run the government from behind the scenes.

The veteran democracy campaigner has reportedly been appointed as Myanmar’s foreign minister.

State of emergency lifted

The four-year state of emergency in Rakhine has been lifted. Many Rohingya complain of discrimination

Myanmar’s former President Thein Sein has lifted a state of emergency in the restive Western state of Rakhine, imposed after clashes between Buddhists and minority Rohingya Muslims in 2012.

Sein announced the move a day before leaving office.

There have been no major clashes in Rakhine in the last two years. However, most of Myanmar’s 1.1 million Rohingya Muslims remain stateless.

Many Rohingya live in camps for displaced people.

They are denied citizenship and complain of state-sanctioned discrimination.

Myanmar has denied discriminating against the group. It does not recognise the Rohingya as an ethnic minority and instead classifies them as Bengalis.

The United Nations said last week that an estimated 25,000 Rohingya Muslims have left camps for displaced people and returned to their communities.

120,000 remain in camps. The figure is down from 145,000.

Relations with the NLD

Tensions were high before the elections.

Rohingya were denied participation in November’s vote.

The NLD decided not to field a single Muslim candidate on its 1,100 strong list.

There is also tension between the NLD and the Rakhine-based Arakan National Party (ANP)

What they are saying

“Our new government will implement national reconciliation, peace in the country, emergence of a constitution that will pave the way to a democratic union and enhance the living standards of the people.” – Myanmar’s new President Htin Kyaw addresses parliament.

“It is found from the report by the Rakhine state government that the situation in Rakhine state can no longer pose dangers to the lives and property of the people.”Thein Sein

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