Myanmar parliament to elect president

Media captionWhen Myanmar’s next president went to jail

Myanmar’s parliament is preparing to elect a new president, who is almost certain to be the first civilian to lead the country in more than 50 years.

They are choosing between three candidates put forward by the upper and lower houses and the military.

The winner is widely expected to be Htin Kyaw, a close ally of Aung San Suu Kyi whose National League for Democracy (NLD) party swept to victory in historic elections in November.

Ms Suu Kyi is barred from the post.

A clause in the constitution widely seen as being tailored against her says anyone whose children have another nationality cannot become president. Her children hold British passports.

Despite weeks of negotiation, the NLD were unable to persuade the military of Myanmar – also known as Burma – to remove or suspend the clause to allow Ms Suu Kyi to take office.

But she has always said that she would run the country anyway, with the president effectively acting as a proxy.

The NLD has a huge majority in both houses of parliament, despite the military’s automatic 25% of seats, so the candidate it backs is all but guaranteed to win.

The runners-up will become vice-presidents. The NLD will then begin the process of forming a government before taking office in a few weeks’ time.

Who are the nominees?

Media captionBBC’s Myanmar correspondent Jonah Fisher explains how the country is choosing its new president
  • Htin Kyaw – NLD, nominated by Lower House of parliament. A 70-year-old writer and close friend of Aung San Suu Kyi. Not an elected MP.
  • Henry Van Thio – NLD, nominated by Upper House of parliament. From the Chin ethnic minority and another close ally of Ms Suu Kyi.
  • Myint Swe – nominated by the army, 64. A retired general seen as close to former military leader Than Shwe.

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