Defying Military Regime, Myanmar’s CRPH Names Four Acting Ministers

By The Irrawaddy 2 March 2021

YANGON—In its latest challenge to the legitimacy of the country’s military regime, a committee representing elected Myanmar lawmakers from the overthrown ruling National League for Democracy (NLD) appointed four acting ministers on Tuesday.

In a statement, the Committee Representing Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (CRPH) said that since the military’s “illegitimate” arrest of President U Win Myint and State Counselor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, the cabinet had not been able to perform its duties. The Pyidaungsu Hluttaw is Myanmar’s Union Parliament.

According to the statement, four people, three of them from the NLD, have been appointed as acting ministers “to assume the duties on behalf of cabinet members.”

Daw Zin Mar Aung, who was elected to the Lower House representing Yangon’s Yankin Township in the Nov. 8 general election, was appointed acting foreign affairs minister. She is a member of the CRPH.

The committee also appointed U Lwin Ko Latt to serve concurrently as acting President’s Office minister and Union Government Office minister. In the Nov. 8 vote, he was elected as a Lower House lawmaker representing Thanlyin Township in Yangon. He is currently a member of the CRPH.

Another elected Lower House lawmaker from the NLD, U Tin Tun Naing, was appointed acting minister for three crucial three economic ministries: Planning, Finance and Industry; Investment and Foreign Economic Relations; and Commerce.

The CRPH also chose Dr. Zaw Wai Soe as acting minister for three ministries: Labor, Immigration and Population; Education; and Health and Sports. The University of Medicine 1 Yangon rector has played a leading role in Yangon’s COVID-19 fight since last year.

He strongly condemned the military coup and is participating in the Civil Disobedience  Movement against the military regime, having refused to serve in the military’s cabinet.

Among the CRPH’s members are 17 elected NLD lawmakers. The self-declared parliamentary committee was formed after the coup to counter military rule.

The NLD won Myanmar’s Nov. 8 general election in a landslide. NLD candidates won 920 of the 1,117 elected seats nationwide, including seats in both houses of the bicameral Union Parliament and the state/regional parliaments, as well as ethnic affairs minister posts.

On Feb. 1, the military staged a coup just hours before the new NLD-dominated Parliament was set to convene, claiming it was forced to act over what it called electoral fraud in the Nov. 8 general election.

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