President’s Office swats down rumours of Htin Kyaw’s resignation

President’s Office swats down rumours of Htin Kyaw’s resignation

The President’s Office has rejected rumours that President Htin Kyaw had submitted his resignation due to poor health.

Zaw Htay, the director-general of the office, told DVB the rumours were false.

“That is absolutely not true. The [president] is in good health and it is not true that he submitted his resignation,” said Zaw Htay.

He said the President’s Office is looking into who first started the rumour and the intention behind it.

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The rumours of Htin Kyaw’s resignation come as Burma’s state counsellor and de facto leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, is on a visit to Europe.

Win Htein, a prominent member of the National League for Democracy leadership, also denied the Presidential Palace speculation, as well as an attendant rumour that former Lower House Speaker Shwe Mann, who is viewed as close to ruling party leader Suu Kyi, would replace Htin Kyaw as president.

“There have been some brazen rumours about U Htin Kyaw’s retirement due to health concerns — and that I have given it approval, U Shwe Mann is set to replace him and that we are waiting for Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s return from her trip abroad to proceed with the plan,” he said. “The rumours also claimed U Shwe Mann recently attended an NLD executive [committee] meeting. That is completely out of line. From what I see, this is an attempt to create political instability while Daw Aung San Suu Kyi is away on her visit to the Philippines and Europe.”

Htin Kyaw was elected to the presidency by the NLD-dominated Parliament on 15 March 2016. A close confidante of Suu Kyi, the 70-year-old is understood to report to her and has been described as a “puppet president,” in light of the fact that Suu Kyi is constitutionally barred from the presidency.

Her NLD won nearly 80 percent of elected seats in Burma’s historic November 2015 general election, allowing the party to choose the country’s president.

This story was updated at 4:45 p.m. to include comments from NLD central executive committee member Win Htein.

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