RANGOON — A senior member of the National League for Democracy (NLD) said on Thursday the party planned to appoint NLD lawmakers to chief minister posts across Burma’s regional parliaments, dashing the hopes of at least one major ethnic political party that had publically coveted such a position.
Speaking to The Irrawaddy on Thursday, NLD central committee member Nan Khin Htwe Myint said chief ministers of Burma’s state parliaments would be ethnic NLD candidates, as selected by the country’s new president according to the 2008 Constitution.
The Arakan National Party (ANP), which won 23 of 47 Arakan State parliament seats in last month’s election and emerged as one of the country’s strongest ethnic political parties, had expressed hope the new state chief would be drawn from within its ranks.
Nan Khin Htwe Myint put paid to that prospect on Thursday.
“Maybe the ANP can obtain the regional parliament chairman post but the state chief minister will be from the NLD,” she said. “Even if we had only secured two or three [local Arakan State parliament] seats in the election, we could select an NLD ethnic candidate for the post.”
Aye Thar Aung, a spokesperson for the ANP, claimed lawmakers could object to the presidential appointee, but conceded the military-drafter charter put the matter in the hands of the president.
“We must amend the Constitution. If we don’t, this will happen again and again,” he said.
Aye Thar Aung said that an NLD candidate from Gwa Township, Nyi Pu, was being touted for the post.
This week, an alliance of over 100 Arakanese civil society organizations called for the NLD, which won a landslide victory in the Nov. 8 poll, to select a chief minister from within the ANP.
Prior to the election, ANP chairman Aye Maung had been put forward as a possible candidate for the role, however, he became ineligible after losing his state seat of Manaung on Nov. 8.