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Myanmar general gives up post

Yangon, Aug 25 (Reuters): Myanmar military leader General Than Shwe has given up his post as Prime Minister and will be replaced by the third most senior general in the ruling military council, General Khin Nyunt, state media reported today.

Than Shwe would keep his posts as chairman of the ruling military body — the State Peace and Development Council — and as commander-in-chief of the armed forces, the radio said.

“In order to be able to carry out the interests of the state and the entire people more effectively, the State Peace and Development Council has appointed General Khin Nyunt as the state Prime Minister with effect from today,” the junta said in a statement read out on radio and television.

Yangon-based diplomats said the general — chief of military intelligence — was viewed as a reformist, but it was unclear what impact his appointment would have on the nearly three-month detention of opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

Myanmar’s military has ruled the country since a 1962 coup and rejected a 1990 landslide election victory by Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD).

“It is a good sign for political transition and economic reform,” an Asian diplomat said.

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