Myanmar Military Appoints Ex-Generals, USDP Members to New Govt

By The Irrawaddy 2 February 2021

YANGON—Following its coup d’etat on Monday, the military regime in Myanmar has formed a new cabinet largely made up of generals and ex-military officials, along with some members of its political proxy party, the Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP).

The armed forces have detained Union President U Win Myint, State Counselor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and other elected civilian leaders since staging a takeover in the early hours of Monday.

Military chief Senior General Min Aung Hlaing announced the formation of the 11-member Union cabinet on the same night, appointing Lieutenant General Soe Htut as the home affairs minister, General Mya Tun Oo as defense minister and Lieutenant-General Tun Tun Naing as the border affairs minister. All three ministries were already under the control of the military prior to the coup.

The foreign minister post once held by Daw Aung San Suu Kyi was given to U Wunna Maung Lwin, a USDP Central Executive Committee member who lost his election race to an NLD rival in November. He held the same position form 2011 to 2016 under the quasi-military U Thein Sein government.

U Win Shein, another failed USDP candidate and ex-military officer, was appointed minister for planning, finance and industry. He was the minister for finance and revenue under U Thein Sein.

The Ministry of Investment and Foreign Economic Relations, formerly headed by U Thaung Tun, will be led by U Aung Naing Oo, an ex-military officer.

U Ko Ko Hlaing, a former military officer-cum-chief political adviser to the President’s Office under U Thein Sein, was picked as the minister for international cooperation, a post formerly held by U Kyaw Tin.

Writer and former editor U Pe Myint has been replaced by U Chit Naing as head of the country’s Information Ministry. The new minister is an ex-military officer who writes under the pseudonym “Chit Naing (Psychology)”.

U Ko Ko and U Myint Kyaing are the new ministers of religious affairs and labor, respectively.

One of the most recognizable faces of Myanmar’s effort to combat COVID-19, Dr. Myint Htwe, has been replaced by his former subordinate Dr. Thet Kaing Win, a permanent secretary, as minister of health and sports.

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