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President Htin Kyaw resigns ‘to take a rest from duties’

Burma's President Htin Kyaw, pictured in Tokyo on 14 December 2017. (PHOTO: REUTERS)

Burma’s civilian president, Htin Kyaw, has resigned with immediate effect “in order to take rest from the current duties and responsibilities”, his office said in a statement posted on Facebook on Wednesday.

Htin Kyaw, whose post is largely ceremonial, has been a close ally of the country’s de facto leader, Aung San Suu Kyi. He was handpicked by the Nobel peace prize laureate to become president because a constitution drafted by the country’s former junta bars her from the top office.

There has been speculation in the local media for some months that Htin Kyaw was in ill-health, but this was denied by officials.

The president’s office said: “According to the Myanmar constitution article 73 (b), procedures will be undertaken to fill the president vacancy within seven working days.”

This developing story was published at 12:15 p.m. and an update can be found here