Two Deputy Ministers Resign

By Lawi Weng, Reform 6 June 2012

Burma’s state-run media reported on Wednesday that two government ministers and one member of the Union Election Commission (EC) have resigned.

The New Light of Myanmar said that Soe Aung, the deputy minister at the Ministry of Energy, had resigned alongside Tint Lwin, the deputy minister at the Ministry of Communications, Posts and Telegraphs, and EC member Thar Oo.

Both Soe Aung and Tint Lwin were civilian appointees to the respective ministries following the formation of Parliament in March 2011. Thar Oo was an EC commissioner as far back as the 1990 election, which was widely reported to have been rigged in the military’s favor.

The report did not offer any reasons for the resignations, only that President Thein Sein had approved the moves. However, observers quickly noted that the ministers had relinquished their posts in the wake of protests in several cities against power shortages.

Meanwhile, Thein Sein has refused to accept the resignation of one of his vice-presidents, Tin Aung Myint Oo, according to Rangoon-based journalists and government officials. He has apparently offered him two months medical leave instead.

Hardliner Tin Aung Myint Oo is reported to be suffering from throat cancer, and last month joined a Buddhist monastery, fueling speculation that he had been released from his post in a move that most Burma watchers viewed as a victory for the reformers within the government.