With his inauguration on Friday, U Win Myint has become Myanmar’s tenth president.
The House speaker-turned-president is the second head of state elected by the Daw Aung San Suu Kyi-led National League for Democracy (NLD) government in two year’s time, following U Htin Kyaw’s sudden retirement from the post in the third week of March 2018.
Like the former president, the one-time lawyer is one of the State Counselor’s allies. A hardcore NLD member since the formation of the party in 1988, the 67-year-old had three electoral victories on the party ticket—being elected for the seats in his hometown Irrawaddy Delta’s Danubyu in the 1990 election, Irrawaddy’s Pathein Township in the 2012 by-election and Yangon’s Tamwe township in the 2015 election.
During his time in the Lower House, U Win Myint was known to be a strict taskmaster. He often warned lawmakers to do their homework before the parliamentary session and to keep their proposals and questions specific and to the point. The lawmakers were not alone in receiving his stern warnings. Union ministers were also among those faulted for poorly prepared answers in Parliament. Moreover, he has occasionally given military appointees in Parliament a hard time.
Like many other political activists and politicians, U Win Myint was arrested several times by the previous military regime.