Thein Sein

Thein Sein (tān sān) [key], 1945–, Burmese general and political leader. A graduate of the Defense Services Academy, he commanded an infantry battalion and later served under strongman Than Shwe when he was military commander-in-chief. Thein Sein later headed Yangon's military, and in 1996 was appointed head of a regional command. In 1997 he joined the military junta; he was named first secretary of the State Peace and Development Council in 2004. Thein Sein became prime minister in 2007, when he also was promoted to full general. He resigned from the military in 2010 in order to run for office under the new constitution and formed the military-backed Union Solidarity and Development party (USDP), becoming USDP chairman. The USDP won by a landslide in an election widely regarded as a sham, and Thein Sein was elected president in 2011. A military loyalist throughout his career, he has remained relatively untainted by charges of corruption.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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