Myint Swe

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Myint Swe
Acting President of Myanmar
Assumed office
1 February 2021
Vice PresidentHenry Van Thio
SAC Chairman and Prime MinisterMin Aung Hlaing
Preceded byWin Myint
In office
21 March 2018 – 30 March 2018
Vice PresidentHenry Van Thio
State CounsellorAung San Suu Kyi
Preceded byHtin Kyaw
Succeeded byWin Myint
3rd First Vice President of Myanmar
Assumed office
30 March 2016
Serving with Henry Van Thio
PresidentHtin Kyaw
Himself (acting)
Win Myint
Himself (acting)
Preceded bySai Mauk Kham
1st Chief Minister of Yangon Region
In office
30 March 2011 – 30 March 2016
Preceded byOffice established
Succeeded byPhyo Min Thein
Personal details
Born (1951-05-24) 24 May 1951 (age 72)
Mandalay, Union of Burma
Political partyUnion Solidarity and Development
SpouseKhin Thet Htay
EducationDefence Services Academy
Military service
Allegiance Myanmar
Branch/serviceMyanmar Army
Years of service1971–2010
Rank Lieutenant General

Myint Swe (Burmese: မြင့်ဆွေ, pronounced [mjɪ̰ɰ̃ sʰwè]; born 24 May 1951[1]) is a Burmese politician and retired army general currently serving as Acting President of Myanmar as well as First Vice President. He previously served as the acting president after the resignation of President Htin Kyaw on 21 March 2018, and the chief minister of Yangon Region from 30 March 2011 to 30 March 2016. On 30 March 2016, he was sworn in as the vice president of Myanmar. A member of the military proxy Union Solidarity and Development Party, he is an ethnic Mon former lieutenant general in the Myanmar Army.[2][3]

Myint Swe was declared acting president by the Tatmadaw (military) in the coup d'état on 1 February 2021, after which he immediately formally transferred power to coup leader Min Aung Hlaing.[4][5][6][7] Throughout his political career, Myint Swe has worked to ensure the Tatmadaw's influence in politics. He has rarely been seen in public since the coup, with Min Aung Hlaing serving as the face of the government.[8] Myint Swe's main role in the military government has been to formally grant and renew Min Aung Hlaing's emergency powers.

Military career[edit]

He graduated from the Defence Services Academy in 1971 as part of the 15th intake.[9] He became a brigadier general and commander of Light Infantry Division 11 in 1997. He was appointed as Commander of Southeastern Command and member of State Peace and Development Council in 2001. He was transferred as Commander of Yangon Command and promoted to major general. He also acted as Chairman of Yangon Division Peace and Development Council.

He became the Chief of Military Security Affairs after Khin Nyunt was purged in 2004.[10] He became Chief of Bureau of Special Operations – 5 (BSO-5) in January 2006. He is the first ethnic Mon to be promoted to the rank of Lieutenant General in 2005.[1] He was promoted to Quartermaster General and was rumored to be the next in line to replace Maung Aye in 2009.[9][11]

He executed 3 major events while he was commanding the Yangon Command, arresting family members of Ne Win in 2002 after an alleged coup conspiracy was uncovered, arresting Khin Nyunt and his associates in 2004 in the purge of the Military Intelligence faction and crushing the Saffron Revolution in 2007. His actions after Cyclone Nargis was criticized. He dealt with activists harshly in the pre-2010 general election period.[11]

Political career[edit]

Chief Minister of Yangon Region[edit]

He was nominated as chief-minister of the Yangon Region after the general election by President Thein Sein. He was tipped to be nominated to become Vice President of Burma after Tin Aung Myint Oo's resignation in 2012, but did not qualify per the Constitution of Burma, as his son-in-law was an Australian citizen at the time.[12]

Vice Presidency[edit]

On 11 March 2016, military-appointed MPs of the Assembly of the Union nominated him as one of the Vice Presidents of Myanmar. He received 213 votes on 15 March 2016 and became First Vice President of Htin Kyaw's Cabinet.[13] He was sworn in on 30 March 2016.

Acting President[edit]

On 21 March 2018, following the sudden resignation of Htin Kyaw as President of Myanmar, Myint Swe was sworn in as acting president under the Constitution of Myanmar, which also called for the Assembly to select a new president within seven days of Htin Kyaw's resignation.

On 1 February 2021, President Win Myint was illegally removed from office and detained by the Tatmadaw (military), so Myint Swe would become Acting President, allowing him to call a meeting of the military-controlled National Defence and Security Council so a state of emergency could be invoked and power could be formally transferred to coup leader Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services Min Aung Hlaing, which Myint Swe did the same day. The military maintains that Myint Swe constitutionally assumed the presidency because the constitution states the first vice president becomes acting president if the presidency becomes vacant "for any reason". However this interpretation is incorrect as the military had no legal authority to detain Win Myint and the constitution provides for an impeachment and removal process which was not followed. Additionally, Myint Swe’s declaration of a state of emergency was also unconstitutional because the full NDSC was not consulted; the military had illegally detained other members of the council, including de facto government leader Aung San Suu Kyi (a member of the NDSC as Minister of Foreign Affairs), prior to the meeting being called.[14]

Myint Swe has extended the state of emergency four times[15] by six month periods at meetings of the National Defence and Security Council, but has not otherwise participated in government. The third extension was especially controversial because the constitution says up to two extensions are "normally" allowed. Myint Swe acknowledged this but justified the extension due to what he said are "unusual circumstances" (namely, the civil war started by the military’s seizure of power).[8][16][17][18] The junta-packed[14] Constitutional Tribunal affirmed his interpretation.[19][20]

Personal life[edit]

Myint Swe is of Mon descent.[12] He is married to Khin Thet Htay, and has two children, including Khin Thet Htar Swe.[21]


  1. ^ a b "Lt Gen Myint Swe". Alternative Asean Network on Burma. Archived from the original on 24 June 2014. Retrieved 2 July 2008.
  2. ^ "ဒုသမ္မတအဖြစ် ရွေးချယ်တင်မြှောက်ခံရသူ ကိုယ်ရေးအချက်အလက် အကျဉ်း". Myanmar Ahlin. 12 March 2016. Archived from the original on 4 October 2018. Retrieved 12 March 2016.
  3. ^ "CONSOLIDATED LIST OF FINANCIAL SANCTIONS TARGETS IN THE UK". Her Majesty's Treasury. UK Government. 20 April 2011. Archived from the original on 29 January 2013. Retrieved 24 July 2011.
  4. ^ "Myanmar coup: who are the military figures running the country?". The Guardian. 2 February 2021. Archived from the original on 17 February 2021. Retrieved 23 February 2021.
  5. ^ Milko, Victoria (1 February 2021). "Why is the military taking control in the Myanmar coup?". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on 14 March 2021. Retrieved 10 March 2021.
  6. ^ "Myanmar Military Seizes Power". The Irrawaddy. 1 February 2021. Archived from the original on 9 March 2021. Retrieved 10 March 2021.
  7. ^ Milko, Victoria; Kurtenbach, Elaine (1 February 2021). "A decade after junta's end, Myanmar military back in control". Associated Press. Archived from the original on 10 March 2021. Retrieved 10 March 2021.
  8. ^ a b "Junta Watch: Old Faces Reappear, Coup Leader Declares Himself Buddhism's Savior and More". The Irrawaddy. 5 February 2022. Archived from the original on 14 March 2022. Retrieved 14 March 2022.
  9. ^ a b Lwin, Min (27 June 2008). "Lt-Gen Myint Swe: Future No 2?". The Irrawaddy. Archived from the original on 17 February 2012. Retrieved 2 July 2008.
  10. ^ "Myint Soe". Archived from the original on 24 June 2014. Retrieved 14 July 2014.
  11. ^ a b "Myint Swe Nominated as New Vice-President". The Irrawaddy. 10 July 2012. Archived from the original on 15 July 2014. Retrieved 14 July 2014.
  12. ^ a b Sean Gleeson (11 March 2016). "Myint Swe revealed as military VP pick". Frontier Myanmar. Archived from the original on 30 June 2018. Retrieved 4 October 2018.
  13. ^ "Myanmar military picks hardliner Myint Swe to work with Suu Kyi's proxy president". South China Morning Post. 11 March 2016. Archived from the original on 8 November 2020. Retrieved 11 March 2016.
  14. ^ a b Noel, Thibaut (March 2022). "Unconstitutionality of the 2021 Coup in Myanmar" (PDF). International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance. Archived (PDF) from the original on 15 March 2023. Retrieved 15 March 2023.
  15. ^ "Myanmar's military-led government extends state of emergency, forcing delay in promised election". Associated Press. Bangkok, Thailand. ABC News. 31 July 2023. Retrieved 5 August 2023.
  16. ^ Khine Lin Kyaw (31 July 2022). "Myanmar Extends State of Emergency For Six Months Until February". Bloomberg News. Retrieved 1 August 2022.
  17. ^ "Myanmar military rulers extend state of emergency by six months". Al Jazeera. 1 February 2023. Retrieved 1 February 2023.
  18. ^ "Myanmar junta extends state of emergency, effectively delaying polls". Agence France-Presse. Yangon: France24. 1 February 2023. Retrieved 1 February 2023.
  19. ^ "Extension of State of Emergency conforms with Constitution: CT response" (PDF). Global New Light of Myanmar. 1 February 2023. p. 2. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2 February 2023. Retrieved 8 February 2023.
  20. ^ "Myanmar Junta Extends Military Rule by Six Months". The Irrawaddy. 1 February 2023. Retrieved 6 August 2023.
  21. ^ "Children of Burma's bloody junta in Sydney deny black money". Kalgoorlie Miner. 11 June 2021. Archived from the original on 4 August 2022. Retrieved 4 August 2022.
Political offices
New office Chief Minister of Yangon Region
Succeeded by
Preceded by First Vice President of Myanmar
Preceded by Acting President of Myanmar
Succeeded by
Preceded by Acting President of Myanmar