RANGOON — Thirteen of Burma’s 14 regional chief ministers were officially announced at respective state and division parliaments on Monday morning.
All of the incoming regional heads are National League for Democracy (NLD) members appointed by the country’s President-elect, Htin Kyaw.
Among them are two women—Nang Khin Htwe Myint and Lae Lae Maw—for Karen State and Tenasserim Division, respectively, making them the first female chief ministers in Burma.
Rangoon will see Phyo Min Thein in the chief minister role, while Zaw Myint Maung, the NLD’s official spokesperson, will hold the position in Mandalay.
Despite the NLD’s sweeping national victory in the 2015 general election, the party lost the majority of votes in three ethnic areas: Arakan, Kachin and Shan states.
Still, the party has publicly maintained that they would pick their own members for all chief ministerial positions—a right afforded in the 2008 Constitution.
In Arakan State in particular, the NLD had been facing a strong local lobby to appoint a chief minister from within the Arakan National Party (ANP), which won a majority in the state parliament. Yet the NLD decided to assign the position to its own member, Nyi Pyu.
The ministers for Burma’s ethnic states include Lin Htut for Shan State, L Phaong Sho for Karenni State, Salai Lian Luai for Chin State and Min Min Oo for Mon State.
Khat Aung has reportedly been nominated in Kachin State, and will be discussed in regional parliament on Tuesday.
In the populace delta region, Mahn Johnny was selected in Irrawaddy Division, while in Central Burma divisions it was Myint Naing for Sagaing, Aung Moe Nyo for Magwe and Win Thein for Pegu.
A leaked document from the NLD listing the names of the new chief ministers began circulating on social media on Sunday afternoon, eliminating some of the suspense surrounding Monday’s official announcement.
“The envelope that contained the list of the chief ministers was delivered to state and division NLD offices, and they were told to open it on Sunday afternoon. That’s why, I think, the list has now been widely shared [online],” a senior party member told The Irrawaddy.