Suu Kyi loyalist and friend elected Myanmar’s president

NAYPYITAW, Myanmar (AP) — Myanmar’s parliament elected Htin Kyaw as the country’s new president Tuesday in a watershed moment that ushers the longtime opposition party of Aung San Suu Kyi into government after 54 years of direct or indirect military rule. The joint session of the two houses of parliament broke into thundering applause as the speaker Mann Win Khaing Than announced the result: “I hereby announce the president of Myanmar is Htin Kyaw, as he won the majority of votes.” Immediately, the state-run Myanmar TV’s camera zoomed in from above on a beaming Suu Kyi, sitting in the front row, clapping excitedly, for a live nationwide audience. Htin Kyaw’s running mate from the National League for Democracy party, Henry Van Tio, won 79 votes and will take the post of second vice president. Myint Swe is seen as a close ally of former junta leader Than Shwe and remains on a U.S. State Department blacklist that bars American companies from doing business with several tycoons and senior military figures connected with the former junta.

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