The ruling National League for Democracy (NLD) plans to reprimand three more of its lawmakers, bringing the total number it has disciplined since taking office to nearly 40, party spokesperson U Myo Nyunt told The Irrawaddy.
“[Before the latest incidents] we had reprimanded 35 representatives. Now, we are going to take action against three more. So the total is nearly 40. All of them were reprimanded during the two years of the government’s term [so far],” U Myo Nyunt said.
They will either be stripped of their duties or given warnings, but they will not be expelled from the party. “If they were forced to leave, the functions of [the legislative bodies in which they serve] would be affected,” said a source close to the party.
The NLD’s central executive committee announced at a meeting on April 22 that action would be taken against one Union Parliament and two regional parliament lawmakers for breaches of disciplinary and financial rules. “They failed to observe party discipline. We instruct lawmakers to follow party discipline whenever they interact with the public and the executive committee. Representatives are required to report their parliamentary activities to the executive committee and coordinate with it,” U Myo Nyunt said.
He also said representatives must keep proper financial accounts, form committees to manage funds, issue financial statements and behave properly. Those who fail to do so will be reprimanded.
Complaints were lodged against Upper House Representative U Pe Chit; Representative U Than Swe of Seikkyi Kanaungto constituency; and Mon State representative and Minister for Electricity, Energy and Industry U Min Htin Aung Han. U Pe Chit, who represents Hmawbi, Htantabin and Shwepyithar townships, has submitted a resignation letter to the party as he wants to be an independent representative. The retired major has been given a warning by the party.
“He is a retired major from Mudon, and took officer training in the same intake with senior NLD figure U Win Htein. The party has warned him several times. He has submitted a resignation letter but the party did not accept it. He does not follow party policy and acts like an independent representative,” said a source in the party.
Spokesman U Myo Nyunt said the party has not made any decision about U Pe Chit, who is still performing his duties despite having submitted his resignation letter to the party. “U Pe Chit has stopped cooperating with us and has been carrying out his own activities as an independent representative since he submitted the resignation letter,” said U Aung Win, a Lower House representative from Hmawbi Township.
U Pe Chit was not available for comment.
Representative U Than Swe of Seikki Khanaungto Township said he was accused of speaking rudely at a township executive committee meeting. He was summoned to party headquarters in January 2018 to face a party probe. He said he did not know whether he would be reprimanded. “This is a minor issue. Most complaints are concerned with corruption. I have never been involved in corruption. My problem is just over a disagreement,” he added.
Mon State Minister U Min Htin Aung Han told The Irrawaddy that he had never been reprimanded by the party and claimed the report concerning him was false.
The NLD has reprimanded a number of its members including the party’s Kayah State chairman, Dr Khin Sithu; Shan State chairperson Daw Moe Moe; youth leader Dr Soe Moe Thu; former Army captain and Representative U Nyan Lin of Shwepyithar Township; and Representative U Sein Win from Maubin, all of whom were forced to leave the party.
Verbal and written warnings were also issued to representatives by influential leader U Win Htein, who is now a patron of the party.