Thein Sein named Myanmar's president



-- Myanmar's parliament elected Prime Minister Thein Sein to be the country's new president Friday.

Tin Myint Oo and Sai Muak Kham will serve as vice presidents of Union Parliament.

Myanmar convened its first parliament in more than two decades on Monday in the capital, Naypyidaw.

The lawmakers came into office after elections were held in November for the first time in 20 years. The elections drew fire from critics who said the voting was aimed at creating a facade of democracy.

The regime refused to allow international monitors to oversee the race and would not allow international journalists to cover the voting from inside the country. Journalists who reported from inside Myanmar had to do so surreptitiously.

The military junta also recently overhauled Myanmar's constitution in a way that critics say was aimed at tightening the regime's grip.

The constitution now requires more than 100 military nominees in parliament. Myanmar, also known as Burma, has been under military rule since 1962.

Among those who boycotted the elections was opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy party, which described it as a sham.