Myanmar Ruling Party Suspends Chief Research Officer for ‘Overstepping Authority’

By Moe Moe 19 August 2019

NAYPYITAW—Myanmar’s ruling National League for Democracy (NLD), at its Central Executive Committee meeting on Sunday, decided to suspend U Myo Yan Naung Thein, the party’s chief research officer, for overstepping his authority, party spokesperson Dr. Myo Nyunt told reporters.

“We’ve decided to discipline him according to party rules, and to suspend him from his party’s duties for doing things that he was not assigned to do,” he said.

Asked to explain what exact line U Myo Yan Naung Thein had crossed, Dr. Myo Nyunt just replied, “We don’t reveal the party’s internal affairs.”

U Myo Yan Naung Thein said he would accept the punishment if it’s stipulated by party rules and regulations, but said he had only acted out of a desire to serve his party and country.

Despite the punishment, he said, he is proud of not being disciplined for corruption, social entanglements or abuse of power.

“A party is an organization. It has its own rules and regulations. [The party leadership] seem to think that a mistake is a mistake even if it is an honest one. I don’t think I made a mistake, but I am willing to accept the punishment by the party,” said U Myo Yan Naung Thein.

He said he would continue to work for the NLD to achieve victory in the 2020 general elections, and that he needs neither position nor power to do so.

“I think I did what I should have done, but the party thinks I violated party rules and regulations,” U Myo Yan Naung Thein said.

He has been suspended from his duties since July 25, when an internal investigation began.

Last September, the NLD dismissed two outspoken lawmakers from the executive committees of their township NLD chapters after the two publicly criticized the party’s economic policy.

At the meeting on Sunday, the party’s Central Executive Committee also accepted the resignation of committee member and Tanintharyi Region NLD chapter chairperson U Aung Soe.

U Aung Soe is also a Lower House lawmaker in the national legislature and a member of the government’s Peace Commission.