All Chief Ministers To Be From NLD: Win Htein

By San Yamin Aung 3 March 2016

RANGOON — One week ahead of Burma’s scheduled presidential nominations, a senior member of the National League for Democracy (NLD) has disclosed to the media that the heads of all states and regions will be appointed from within the party.

Central Executive Committee member Win Htein squashed earlier suggestions that four chief ministerial positions were set to go to the military.

“We have already selected the chief minister posts. All will be NLD representatives,” Win Htein told The Irrawaddy on Thursday.

Intense speculation followed post-election meetings between NLD chairwoman Aung San Suu Kyi and Burma Army chief Snr-Gen Min Aung Hlaing, suggesting that negotiations were under way to amend or suspend the 2008 Constitution’s Article 59 (f)—a clause that effectively excludes Suu Kyi from the presidency. In return, some expected that the military was seeking chief ministerial posts for the Shan, Arakan and Kachin states and Rangoon Division.

The Constitution mandates that the ministerial posts be directly appointed by the president, a position which will be held by an NLD member.

The NLD claimed large majorities throughout most of the country in November’s general election, with Arakan and Shan states as the two exceptions. In the state parliaments of Arakan State, the Arakan National Party (ANP) won the most seats, and in Shan State, the majority went to the military-backed Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP), followed by the Shan Nationalities League for Democracy (SNLD) and the NLD.

On Monday, the Parliament announced that the date of presidential nominations had been rescheduled from March 17 to March 10. The NLD’s silence on the issue raised speculation that the negotiations between Suu Kyi and military leaders had not been in the NLD chairwoman’s favor.

Win Htein declined to comment on the rescheduling of the nominations.

“It is an internal affair,” he said.