Tanintharyi Region Approves New Chief Minister

By San Yamin Aung 22 March 2019

YANGON — The Tanintharyi Region Parliament has approved the local minister of natural resources and environmental conservation, U Myint Maung, as the region’s new chief minister, replacing Daw Lei Lei Maw, who was arrested on corruption charges earlier this month.

President U Win Myint nominated U Myint Maung, who is also a regional lawmaker for the ruling National League for Democracy (NLD), on Monday. The nomination was approved during an emergency parliamentary session on Friday with no objections.

U Myint Maung has been serving as acting chief minister since Daw Lei Lei Maw was arrested on March 10. He is also the NLD secretary for Tanintharyi Region.

His predecessor was arrested after a month-long investigation by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) along with Global Grand Services (GGS) Managing Director U Thein Htwe, Director U Aung Myat and General Manager U Thura Ohn. The cases were opened against all four by the ACC at the Dawei Myoma Police Station in Tanintharyi.

The ACC said Daw Lei Lei Maw misused her position on a number of occasions since April 2016, just weeks after she was appointed, including by awarding several contracts to GGS in exchange for bribes. A day after her arrest, the President’s Office announced that she had been fired.

“There is not much time to address all the problems that the region is facing, but I hope he [U Myint Maung] can solve a few of them in the remainder of the term,” Tanintharyi Region Parliament Speaker U Khin Maung Aye told The Irrawaddy on Tuesday.

On Wednesday, the President’s Office announced the resignation of two other senior officials in Tanintharyi: Planning and Finance Minister U Phyo Win Tun and Electricity and Energy Minister U Kyi Hlaing. While the announcement gave no reason for the resignations, many believe they were linked to the corruption investigation that has toppled the chief minister.