Myanmar elected it first president from a non-military background since the 1960s on Tuesday, as Aung San Suu Kyi's decades-long democracy campaign coasted to a glorious conclusion.

Htin Kyaw, a close friend and confidant of Suu Kyi, got 360 votes out of the 652 votes cast by the members of the parliament in the historic presidential election.

The 69-year-old will replace President Thein Sein next month, but Suu Kyi will hold the reins of the country.

Military's candidate for presidency, Myint Swe, and NLD's ethnic minority representative Henry Van Thio will become the vice-presidents.

The country's landmark transition from rule under military junta to elected democracy follows the crushing victory registered by Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy (NLD) in parliamentary elections.

The NLD won about 80 percent of the elected seats in election in November, giving it an overwhelming majority in the parliament.

However, the junta-drafted constitution of 2008 proscribes Suu Kyi from becoming the president as her sons hold British citizenship, paving the way for her to find a loyalist to assume presidency.

The Nobel peace prize laureate made it clear she would still be in charge of the government, saying she will be "above the president."

Suu Kyi, the daughter of Myanmar's independence hero General Aung San, spent 15 years in house arrest after her party won a majority in parliamentary elections in 1990.

Incoming president Htin, who runs a charity founded by Suu Kyi, is not a member of parliament.

Under Myanmar's constitution, the president does not necessarily have to be a member of parliament.