Myanmar’s Military Intelligence Chief Tapped to Become New Home Affairs Minister

By San Yamin Aung 6 February 2020

YANGON—Myanmar’s Chief of Military Security Affairs, Lieutenant General Soe Htut, has been nominated as the country’s new home affairs minister and will replace the current outgoing minister.

Union Parliament Speaker U T Khun Myat announced in Parliament on Thursday that the president has submitted his appointment for the new minister.

According to the 2008 Constitution, three ministries—Defense, Home Affairs and Border Affairs—are controlled by the military, known as the Tatmadaw. The heads of the three ministries are nominated by the military chief and the president appoints them with the approval of the Union Parliament.

Speaker U T Khun Myat told lawmakers to inform him by Friday evening if they would like to object to the nomination. According to the Constitution, the Parliament does not need to vote to confirm ministerial appointments unless there is proof that the nominee doesn’t meet the qualifications for the position.

Lt-Gen Soe Htut, 59, is a graduate of Intake 64 at the Defense Services Academy (DSA) and has led the Office of the Chief of Military Security Affairs since 2016.

Lieutenant General Soe Htut (3rd from the right) attends the 16th ASEAN Chiefs of Defense Forces Meeting (16th ACDFM) together with military chief Senior General Min Aung Hlaing in Thailand. / Office of the Commander-in-Chief of Defense Services

He is the son of late Brigadier General Lun Maung, a minister in the prime minister’s office under the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) military junta. Brig-Gen Lun Maung was killed in a helicopter crash in 2001 along with SPDC Secretary 2 Lieutenant General Tin Oo and other high-ranking military officials.

Reports about the retirement of current Home Affairs Minister Lieutenant General Kyaw Swe circulated in January and the President’s Office announced the order on Tuesday.

The order stated that Lt-Gen Kyaw Swe has been reassigned to perform his original military duties.

Lt-Gen Kyaw Swe was sworn in as home affairs minister after the National League for Democracy (NLD) government took power in 2016, and always accompanied State Counselor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, the de facto leader of the NLD government, on her domestic trips.

The next Union Parliament Session is scheduled to convene on Feb. 10.

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