Myanmar President U Htin Kyaw Resigns, Cites Need for Rest

Myanmar President Htin Kyaw Aung San Suu Kyi’s close friend resigns

Posted via social media platform, Facebook by the President's Office, read that Mr Kyaw stepped down on March 21, Wednesday because he wanted to "take a rest".

After Htin Kyaw became president, Suu Kyi became Myanmar's de facto leader when she was named state councilor, a position created for the country's once-leading voice for democracy since she is constitutionally banned from the presidency.

During his two years in office he's essentially acted as a proxy for Suu Kyi, who is constitutionally barred from holding the presidency because her children are foreign nationals.

Htin Kyaw's resignation comes as worldwide pressure increases on Nobel Laureate Suu Kyi to do something to ease the suffering of the country's minority Rohingya population.

His resignation comes at a particularly precarious time for both Myanmar and Aung San Suu Kyi, who is under pressure from the worldwide community to address the campaign of violence carried out by the military in Rahkine state - described by the United Nations as having the "hallmarks of genocide" - which has led to an exodus of 700,000 Rohingya Muslims over the border to Bangladesh.

Reports that Htin Kyaw had been experiencing ill health in the past few months had been vigorously denied by the government. In its posting, the president's office said that, according to the constitution, steps would be taken to replace him within seven working days.

Kyaw became the first President of Myanmar with no ties to the army in more than 50 years.

Currently, the country's Vice President 1, U Myint Swe, a former lieutenant general, will serve as acting president.

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