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Myanmar parliament elects Win Myint as new president

Some predict outpoken lawmaker will wield more power than his predecessor

Win Myint, speaker of Lower House of Parliament, leaves after attending a parliament meeting at Naypyitaw, Myanmar on March 11, 2016.   © Reuters

YANGON -- Myanmar's parliament on Wednesday elected Win Myint, the former speaker of the lower house, as the country's new president, a move that may signal a more substantive role for the head of state compared with his figurehead predecessor.

The parliamentary appointment of Win Myint followed the resignation of President Htin Kyaw last week. Win Myint, known for his outspokenness in the legislature, is expected to bring stronger opinions and a more assertive personality to the position. Htin Kyaw was seen largely as a puppet figure, since he deferred on all major political decisions to Suu Kyi, who, because her two sons are British citizens, cannot herself serve as president under Myanmar's military-drafted constitution.

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