NLD MPs Elected to Top Local Parliament Positions in 12 of 14 Assemblies

By The Irrawaddy 9 February 2016

RANGOON — Burma’s local legislatures elected speakers and deputy speakers on Monday, with lawmakers from the National League for Democracy (NLD) assuming the posts in all but two parliaments—in Arakan and Shan states.

In Rangoon Division, Tin Maung Tun, representing Dagon Township, was elected speaker and Lin Naing Myint of Kamayut Township, will serve as deputy.

The Kachin State parliament was a close run affair, with the NLD’s Tun Tin edging out Yar Wan Jone of the Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) for the speaker’s chair.

NLD lawmakers U Tar, Aung Kyaw Oo and Aung Kyaw Khaing were elected speakers of the Magwe, Mandalay and Irrawaddy Division parliaments, respectively.

Aung Kyaw Khaing, 56, is a descendant of Bo Aung Kyaw, a prominent student leader who was killed during a police crackdown on students during British rule in 1938.

In his address to the local parliament on Monday, Aung Kyaw Khaing outlined his priority as speaker.

“Around 70 percent of the population in Irrawaddy Division is rural folks. And there are ownership disputes over 300,000 acres of land in the division. It is our first priority to improve the socio-economic lives of these people,” he said.

In Sagaing Division, U Than was elected speaker while Khin Maung Aye and Khin Maung Yin will assume the position in Tenasserim and Pegu division parliaments, respectively. Hla Htwe was elected speaker in Karenni State, Saw Chit Khin in Karen State and Zo Bwe in Chin State.

All are lawmakers of the NLD, whose members dominate 12 of the country’s 14 state and divisional assemblies.

In Shan State, USDP members Sai Lone Hsai of Kengtung Township and Sao Aung Myat, the incumbent state chief minister, will serve as speaker and deputy speaker.

In Arakan State parliament, where the Arakan National Party (ANP) won 23 seats in last year’s general election, San Kyaw Hla and Phoe Min, both of the ANP, were elected as speaker and deputy.