Chief Minister Drops Ministerial Nominations after Lawmakers Object

By San Yamin Aung 27 February 2018

YANGON — Magwe Region Chief Minister U Aung Moe Nyo withdrew nominations for two vacant regional ministerial positions in the Magwe Parliament on Monday amid opposition to the nominees.

Seventeen regional lawmakers from the ruling National League for Democracy (NLD) submitted objections to nominees U Aye Ngwe, a former director of the Irrigation Department, and U Aung Kyaw Moe, a retired education officer.

The two were proposed by the chief minister on Feb. 14 at an emergency meeting of the regional Parliament to consider replacements for two regional ministers who resigned: Minister for Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation U Soe Myint, and Minister for Labor, Immigration and Population U Nay Myo Kyaw.

MP U Soe Win, one of the 17 who submitted the objections, said the opponents had planned to present strong evidence at Monday’s parliamentary session that the two were not qualified for the posts.

However, “As the chief minister withdrew his nomination to abide by the public’s desire, we withdrew our objections,” he said.

He refused to give details on why they opposed the ministerial nominees, as the chief minister has now accepted their objection.

Some reports have circulated that under military rule, candidate U Aung Kyaw Moe fired middle school teacher U Pyuu Lwin for welcoming then opposition leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi as she was on her way to visit Chin State.

U Pyuu Lwin was elected to an Upper House seat in Magwe region in the 2015 general election, representing the NLD.

Local media reported that political activists said they would stage protests across the region if the two were approved as ministers.

At the time, the then district assistant education officer U Aung Kyaw Moe questioned the long-time teacher, who had worked in the field for 17 years. He was later forced to resign without any pension or entitlements, U Pyuu Lwin told The Irrawaddy.

“I was not a party member at that time. But I am now and we believe the party shouldn’t reward him, even if we don’t punish him for his action,” U Pyuu Lwin said.

The ruling party lawmakers’ objection to the chief minister’s nomination was applauded by some political analysts and said that hopefully it was the start of a pattern of checks and balances developing between Parliament and the government.

According to the Constitution, the chief minister has the right to submit the list again with new nominees.