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Ex-general to fill in top job as Myanmar president quits

Htin Kyaw resigns amid ongoing Rohingya crisis, adding to woes of Aung San Suu Kyi

Ex-general to fill in top job as Myanmar president quits

This file photo taken on Oct. 15, 2017, shows Myanmar's President Htin Kyaw (left) and State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi talking during the second anniversary of the nationwide ceasefire agreement ceremony held in Naypyidaw. (Photo by Aung Htet/AFP)

After nearly two years in office, Myanmar's president and Aung San Suu Kyi's right-hand man Htin Kyaw has resigned from office.

While the resignation was announced March 21, rumors had been spreading that Htin Kyaw, 71, had been in ill health and was looking to resign from the top post.

Myint Swe, a vice-president and former military general, will act as president until a new leader is voted in by parliament.

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Win Myint, 66, one of the loyalists and inner circle of State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy (NLD) party, is tipped to be the new president, according to local media reports. Win Myint has served as the speaker of the lower house after the NLD won general elections in 2015.

Oxford-educated Htin Kyaw was a close aide of Suu Kyi. He acted as a proxy president for Suu Kyi, who was barred, as per the constitution, from the position because she married a foreigner.

Htin Kyaw is the son of prominent writer Min Thu Won and is also the son-in-law of U Lwin, co-founder of the NLD, which swept to power in Myanmar's lower and upper houses of parliament in elections in November 2015.

His resignation comes a day after Suu Kyi returned from the ASEAN-Australia summit held in Sydney where she faced protests and was pressed over her failure to protect the minority Rohingya Muslims.

More than 670,000 Rohingya have been forced from their homes in restive Rakhine State following a crackdown by Myanmar's military that has been labeled "ethnic cleansing."

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