Burma's Parliament elects PM Sein as new president

NAYPYIDAW, BURMA: Burma's Parliament on Friday elected Prime Minister Thein Sein as the new President of the Asian country, Mizzima News reported.

Former PM Sein will be the first civilian president after nearly 50 years of military rule. His vice-presidents will be Tin Aung Myint Oo and Sai Mauk Kham. All three officials are members of the military-backed USDP party.

Sein, 65, is a retired general and the current leader of the Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP). He received 408 votes and won by a wide margin against the other two candidates put forward by the USDP.

The announcement was made today on the fifth day of the new parliament (Pyidaungsu Hluttaw). Earlier this week, USDP designated Sein, Tin Aung Myint Oo and Sai Mauk Kham as vice presidents; a triumvirate out of which the new president was selected.

Tin Aung Myint Oo received 171 votes and finished second to Sein and will serve as vice president number. On the other hand, vice president number two will be Sai Mauk Kham after earning 75 votes.

Sein was appointed as the State Peace and Development Council's Prime Minister in 2007, succeeding General Soe Win. However, he is considered as an ally and follower of Than Shwe, the general who has ruled Burma since 1992.

This is the first time in 22 years that a national parliament has convened in Burma. The Pyidaungsu Hluttaw is mainly conformed of USDP lawmakers.

Sein will be the eight president of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar despite criticism over the election process as only USDP candidates were pushed.


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