Last Updated: Wednesday, 17 December 2014, 20:05 GMT

Burma: Navy chief picked as VP

Publisher Radio Free Asia
Publication Date 15 August 2012
Cite as Radio Free Asia, Burma: Navy chief picked as VP, 15 August 2012, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/5034ec5f32.html [accessed 18 December 2014]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

2012-08-15

Burma's newly appointed vice president is seen as politically moderate.

Nyan Tun salutes during a ceremonial reception in New Delhi, February 10, 2010.Nyan Tun salutes during a ceremonial reception in New Delhi, February 10, 2010. AFP

Burma on Wednesday appointed a navy chief who has a reputation as a political moderate to be one of the country's two vice presidents, replacing a hardliner who resigned for health reasons.

In a move seen as part of a leadership reshuffle making way for more reformist leaders, Admiral Nyan Tun, 58, takes over from Tin Aung Myint Oo, considered a conservative hardliner.

Nyan Tun was selected by military members of parliament, who make up a quarter of the legislature and have the right to choose a vice president.

Speaker of the Upper House Khin Aung Myint announced the appointment at a joint session of both houses of parliament.

In taking his oath of office, Nyan Tun pledged to safeguard the union and its sovereignty and the unity of all ethnic nationalities..

Replacement

His predecessor, a former top general and military advisor to ex-junta leader Than Shwe, submitted his resignation after being diagnosed with cancer in May.

But state media initially stifled reports of Tin Aung Myint Oo's resignation and officials kept mum about his replacement, fanning rumors of a power struggle between regime moderates and conservatives.

The post is seen as largely symbolic, but the vice president can act as mediator between the country's opposition and President Thein Sein's administration, which has embarked on a series of progressive political reforms since taking power in March last year.

Second pick

Before nominating Nyan Tun, military members of parliament first picked Rangoon Division Prime Minister Myint Swe, a retired general who served as a staff officer under Than Shwe.

Myint Swe's nomination was later rejected, with government officials saying that his son-in-law had received foreign citizenship in Australia, which could disqualify him from a senior post under Burmese law.

Under the constitution, Nyan Tun must resign his military position to take up the new post.

As one of two equal vice presidents, he joins Sai Mauk Kham, an ethnic Shan.

Navy General Thura Thet Swe has been appointed to replace Nyan Tun's vacant admiral post.

Reported by RFA's Burmese service. Translated by Win Naing. Written in English by Rachel Vandenbrink.

Link to original story on RFA website

Copyright notice: Copyright © 2006, RFA. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Asia, 2025 M St. NW, Suite 300, Washington DC 20036.

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