NLD Dissolves Chaungzon Branch Executive Committee

By Hintharnee 21 August 2017

MAWLAMYINE, Mon State — The National League for Democracy (NLD)’s Central Executive Committee (CEC) has dissolved the executive committee of its Chaungzon Township branch in Mon State in connection with a protest over the selection of candidates for the township’s 2017 by-election.

“The CEC has instructed us to form a Chaungzon NLD temporary rally committee. This means that the existing committee is dissolved and disciplined,” said Mon State chief minister Dr. Aye Zan, who is also a member of the Mon State NLD executive committee.

The new committee named as temporary rally committee was formed on August 19 and assigned to carry out the party’s executive committee tasks in Chaungzon Township until the election of a new executive committee, according to the chief minister.

The NLD CEC ordered on July 10 an investigation into and suspension of all of the 21 executives of its Chaungzon Township branch for allegedly instigating a protest over the selection of candidates for the township’s 2017 by-election. The three-member investigation committee submitted its investigation report to the CEC in early August.

The Chaungzon Township NLD did not do well to rally public support for the April 1 by-election, chief minister Dr. Aye Zan gave as the reason behind the abolishment.

“The executive committee members had a lot of faults. They even staged a protest against the party. They have to follow the principles of the party CEC. But they didn’t and therefore actions were taken against them,” he told reporters.

The temporary committee still comprises around 40 percent of the old executive committee, he said.

“The ward and village [NLD] committees remain intact. Only the township executive committee has been reformed as a temporary committee. And we do not yet have instruction about what actions shall be taken against the township executives,” said Mon State NLD chairman Dr. Khin Hsaung.

The Chaungzon NLD nominated U Saw Lin Aung, U Aye Win and U Kyaw Pe as first, second and third choices for the 2017 April 1 by-election.

The nomination list was submitted to the district, state and the central level CECs, and the CEC at the central level chose U Aye Win, who was the second choice, to contest the by-election.

Township NLD members were unhappy with the decision and about 50 protestors marched to the Mon State NLD chapter headquarters on October 30 last year.

Demonstrators held placards reading: “We want a local ethnic Mon candidate” and “Respect local people.”

U Saw Lin Aung, who was chosen by the Chaungzon NLD party members as the top nominee, contested the 2015 general elections for a state parliament seat, but lost to the candidate from the All Mon Region Democracy Party.

In the April 1 by-election in Chaungzon Township, NLD candidate U Aye Win got 12,636 votes, losing to his Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) opponent U Aung Kyi Thein by a margin of more than 7,000 votes.

Translated from Burmese by Thet Ko Ko.