Myanmar gets new govt as veteran leader bows out

Updated: 2011-03-31 07:54

(China Daily)

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NAYPYITAW, Myanmar - Myanmar's State Peace and Development Council (SPDC), led by long-time ruler Than Shwe, was officially dissolved on Wednesday after a swearing-in ceremony for the new government.

State television and radio reported that the new government headed by President Thein Sein was sworn in by parliament in the capital of Naypyitaw. Thein Sein was the prime minister and a top member of the previous government.

Myanmar held its first elections in 20 years last November.

The news reports said the new government's arrival marked the end of the SPDC, which had been in power since 1988.

"The SPDC is officially dissolved," state media reported, saying that the dissolution was ordered by Than Shwe, the nation's leader since 1992.

The 78-year-old now no longer holds his two official posts - as SPDC chairman and armed forces commander.

General Min Aung Hlaing, a senior defense official, was named the new commander of Myanmar's armed forces, said a lawmaker who attended the inauguration.

Ceremonies were held across the country as the names of government offices were changed to reflect the new political system, which came into effect after last November's election.

Across Myanmar, "Peace and Development Council" offices, echoing the name of the outgoing SPDC, were renamed "General Administrative Departments", officials said.

The signs are now a slightly lighter shade of green, similar to the color used by Thein Sein's Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP), which won an overwhelming majority in the poll.

USDP lawmakers bagged 388 of the national legislature's 493 elected seats.



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