Myanmar’s new president promised to look at the country’s military-written constitution, corruption and human rights in his inaugural speech Friday, challenging a charter that bans Aung San Suu Kyi from top office and gives the military major powers, Mizzima News reports.
Win Myint, a 66-year-old former political prisoner and staunch ally of Suu Kyi, was elected president on Wednesday after his predecessor Htin Kyaw suddenly resigned.
According to the report, newly elected President Win Myint said in his inaugural address that he would closely watch and supervise government and departmental staffs and also he would straighten up judicial and legislature.
“Government departments which are delayed in reform must be closely watched and supervised. The leading justice delivery system must be straightened up. We must do more to suppress corruption. We must uplift the work of protection of human rights. We must do more work in eradication of narcotic drugs. We must do more to manage the wastage of public finance. We must return land which was grabbed illegally to the rightful owners and give compensation and damages to them in accordance with the law. We must execute the plans for the upgrading the living standards of farmers, give happier life to the workers, and giving the right to education to students,” the new president said.
Suu Kyi, the Nobel laureate who championed Myanmar’s emergence from junta rule by sweeping 2015 elections, is constitutionally barred from the presidency because she was married to a foreigner.
To circumvent that snag, her party created a new position for her called state counsellor – allowing Suu Kyi to rule “above” the president.
That makes it vital for her to have a reliable proxy in office, especially as she manages the delicate power-sharing arrangement with the military, which ruled the country for almost half a century and remains enormously influential.
In his first address to parliament, Win Myint said he would focus on the rule of law, national reconciliation and “amending the constitution to build a democratic federal union”.
The three issues are touchstones of Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) party.
But talk of amendments to Myanmar’s 2008 constitution is likely to be rebuffed by Myanmar’s still-powerful generals.
The army has ceded some power to the civilian administration, but retains 25 percent of parliamentary seats and total control of security affairs under the charter.
Win Myint also said he would work to “protect human rights”, a thorny subject in a country accused of ethnic cleansing by the UN against its Rohingya Muslim population.