Govt Shakeup Coming to Some States, Regions

By San Yamin Aung 9 January 2018

YANGON — NLD sources said the government was likely to replace some of its state and region ministers and chief ministers starting as soon as next week in what would be the largest shakeup of its kind since the party took power almost two years ago.

Monywa Aung Shin, secretary of the NLD’s Central Information Committee, said on Monday that the local ministers and chief ministers would be replaced during the coming session of Parliament, which will reconvene next Monday after a two-month break.

“We heard that about five or six ministers will be replaced at state and region level, as well as chief ministers,” he said.

The Irrawaddy Region’s minister for natural resources, environment, agriculture and livestock, U Ba Hein, has submitted his resignation already, also for health reasons.

Local media has reported that Magwe Region’s minister for labor, immigration and population, U Nay Myo Kyaw, and its minister for agriculture, livestock and irrigation, U Soe Myint, have tendered their resignations as well.

They reported that U Nay Myo Kyaw was the subject of an internal party investigation over an alleged extramarital affair and that U Soe Myint was resigning on health grounds.

Last week, the Rakhine State Parliament voted to strip Municipal Affairs Minister U Min Aung of his duties after being accused of failing to hold consultations on the state budget.

News of the pending replacements follows closely on the NLD’s announcement last week of coming structural reforms within the party ahead of the 2020 elections. It also comes amid mounting calls from pundits that its government replace key posts in order to improve its performance.

The NLD lawmakers who spoke on condition of anonymity said the government was also likely to replace some Union ministers who have been criticized for their performance over the past two years.

NLD spokesperson U Nyan Win would neither confirm nor deny the reported changes.

“I couldn’t say that is not true. It will depend on the decision of the government. As a party, we don’t decide on that,” he said.

U Nyan Win told The Irrawaddy last week that the NLD would carry out reforms based on the lessons it has learned from its mistakes over the past two years.

Additionally reporting by Htet Naing Zaw from Naypyitaw.