Myanmar President Removes Kayah State Chief Minister From Office for Misusing Funds

By San Yamin Aung 3 September 2020

YANGON—Myanmar President U Win Myint on Thursday removed L Phaung Sho from his position as chief minister of Kayah State, two days after the state’s parliament voted to impeach him for misusing state funds.

The now dismissed chief minister wrote on his Facebook page that the President forwarded the order to the state government on Thursday afternoon. Kayah State Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation Minister U Bosco was appointed acting chief minister effective from the time the order was forwarded, L Phaung Sho said.

The Kayah State parliament on Tuesday approved a motion to impeach L Phaung Sho of the ruling National League for Democracy (NLD), with 16 of 20 sitting lawmakers in the local legislature voting in support of the bid.

According to the Myanmar Constitution, an impeachment proposal against a chief minister requires the support of at least two-thirds of state/regional parliamentarians to pass. Once it is approved, the parliament’s resolution must be submitted to the country’s president, paving the way for the official removal of the chief minister.

In the impeachment motion, L Phaung Sho was accused of misappropriating funds earned by the state’s heavy-machinery rental service and leasing a land plot that is the site of the annual state day celebrations to businesses for up to 50 years, despite the parliament’s decision that the plot is to be kept as a public place.

An investigation committee was formed to conduct an inquiry into the allegations. On Tuesday, the committee submitted its findings to the parliament, after which lawmakers voted on the motion.

L Phaung Sho is the first chief minister to be impeached by a state parliament under constitutional procedures.

“I understand everything that is happening today. Those who love me will grieve for me and hateful people will applaud. But I am satisfied with the decision of my superiors. I can confidently say that I have worked hard for the development of the state since I was appointed chief minister in 2016,” L Phaung Sho wrote in his farewell message.

In May, Daw Lei Lei Maw, the dismissed former chief minister of Tanintharyi Region, also an NLD member, was jailed for corruption.

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