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New Myanmar President to Combat Corruption, Uphold Human Rights

  • Newly elected Myanmar President U Win Myint after taking the oath in parliament in Naypyitaw, Myanmar.

    Newly elected Myanmar President U Win Myint after taking the oath in parliament in Naypyitaw, Myanmar. | Photo: Reuters

Published 31 March 2018
Opinion

U Win Myint, a 66-year-old former political prisoner, was elected president on Wednesday following the sudden resignation of Htin Kyaw.

Myanmar’s new president, U Win Myint, will review the military constitution, implement democracy and uphold human rights, the new administrator announced Friday during his inauguration.

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"By applying the lessons learned from the challenges and crises we have experienced in the past, our government will try its best – with full impartiality – to bring about democracy and the respect for human rights that our people long for," Win Myint said.

The 66-year-old former political prisoner was elected Wednesday, succeeding Htin Kyaw after his sudden resignation.

According to Win Myint, the new administration will vigilantly monitor its departments and staff to avoid corruption, as well as correct the current affairs of the judiciary and legislature.

"We must do more to suppress corruption. We must uplift the work of protection of human rights. We must do more work in eradication of narcotic drugs. We must do more to manage the wastage of public finance," Myint said, adding that any property illegally acquired would also be returned – with compensation – to its rightful owners.

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"We must execute the plans for the upgrading of living standards for farmers, give happier life to the workers, and give the right to education to students."

Myint also plans to review the constitution in order to implement a democratic federal union and address criminal issues, such as drug trafficking.

In order to accomplish this, he said, there would need to be mutual understanding from the "three pillars of the country," meaning the legislative, judiciary and executive branches. "We need to keep working to raise the dignity of our citizens as well as the image of the country in the international community."

Win Myint ran with State Councillor and Nobel Prize Winner Suu Kyi in a 1988 campaign. Suu Kyi has been criticized for her failure to end the "ethnic cleansing" of hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims since August.

Earlier this week, Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina requested the international community intervene on the part of the Rohingya Muslims who escaped to the neighboring nation amid violent persecution.

During her meeting with the World Health Organization-South East Asia Regional Office (WHO-SEARO), Hasina asked the international community to continue pressuring Myanmar to accelerate its repatriation process and relieve Bangladesh of its 700,000 refugees. So far, only 374 people have been allowed to return.

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