Myanmar Junta Scraps Retirement Age for Its Leaders

By The Irrawaddy 20 May 2021

The military regime’s Ministry of Defence has scrapped the retirement age of 65 for its leaders: commander-in-chief and his deputy.

Days after the military coup in February, the ministry scrapped the age limit for the two, enabling Sen Gen Min Aung Hlaing, who turned 65 in April – which was seen by some observers as a key factor behind the coup – to continue in his post.

The Feb. 4 instruction signed by Adjutant General Lieutenant General Myo Zaw Thein scrapped the age limit for the army chief and his deputy. However, it did not set a new age limit, meaning Min Aung Hlaing can remain in his post until he is toppled or he voluntarily steps down.

The instruction was also made public in the military regime’s gazette on March 5.

Previously, army, naval and air force commanders were required to retire if they were not promoted after four years. Under the new instructions, they can retain those positions for two more years if necessary.

A defense council ruling in 1973 allowed officers to serve as long as the military needed them. However, the instruction was amended in 2014 during the democratic transition, setting age limits.

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