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President Win Myint sworn in, pledging to ‘strive for the change citizens want to see’

Win Myint, former speaker of the Lower House of Parliament, leaves parliament in Naypyidaw on 23 March 2018. (PHOTO: REUTERS)

Delivering his inaugural speech to the nation on Friday, Burma’s newly appointed president, Win Myint, pledged to strive for “the change that citizens want to see.”

Hastily elected this week following former President Htin Kyaw’s sudden resignation, loyal National League for Democracy (NLD) stalwart Win Myint was sworn in as president in Parliament this morning alongside his two vice presidents, Myint Swe and Henry Van Thio.

“I pledge to strive for the major objectives of the Union government: rule of law; an improvement in socioeconomic conditions; national reconciliation and peace; and constitutional reform, which lays the foundation for building a democratic federal Union,” said Win Myint in his speech that followed his swearing in.

“Myanmar is being subjected to pressures, criticisms, and misunderstandings in the international arena. The challenges that this nation and its citizens have been facing are not of minor significance,” he said, without elaborating.

“This administration will have to exercise close supervision of those departments whose reforms have been delayed; we will set the slanted judiciary upright; we will enact greater anti-corruption efforts; we will prevent human rights violations; we will eliminate drug abuse; we will return confiscated farmlands to the farmers, and provide them compensation in accordance with the law; we will improve the living conditions for farmers and labourers; and we will enable young citizens to seek access to higher education.”

Win Myint concluded his speech, pledging: “Together with the people, I will earnestly strive for the change that citizens want to see.”

Burma’s State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, Commander-in-Chief Senior-General Min Aung Hlaing, and NLD veterans Tin Oo and Win Htein were among those present at the swearing-in ceremony in the Union Parliament this morning.

During the previous president’s tenure, the position was widely considered no more than a ceremonial role while Suu Kyi held the reins of power in executive branch matters. Few observers have predicted that Win Myint will aspire to greater decision-making powers during this presidency.

Suu Kyi is barred from running for president because of her sons’ foreign citizenship.