The sudden resignation of Myanmar President Htin Kyaw is a worrying development for the country's future, according to one politics watcher, especially as a crescendo of criticism engulfs de-facto ruler Aung San Suu Kyi.
In a statement on Wednesday, Htin Kyaw's office said the 71 year-old was departing immediately "in order to take rest from the current duties and responsibilities." The outgoing leader is a close confidante of Nobel laureate Suu Kyi, whose ruling National League for Democracy (NLD) party took power in a historic 2015 election.
Officially barred from the presidency due to a constitutional clause, Suu Kyi still rules the country though trusted proxies. Htin Kyaw's replacement is widely expected to be fellow NLD loyalist Win Myint, who is currently speaker of the lower house.
Htin Kyaw's resignation "brings to the fore the issue of leadership and who the successors are going to be in Myanmar moving forward," Bridget Welsh, a political science professor at John Cabot University, told CNBC at the Credit Suisse Asia Investment Conference.
The news raises questions in people's minds, she said.
There is now a sense that "the country is not necessarily moving in a more democratic direction," Welsh continued, referring to the rise of complex identity politics, reports of ethnic cleansing and the military's continued grip on power.