NLD Party Revamp Elevates U Win Myint to No. 2 Spot

By San Yamin Aung 30 March 2018

YANGON— The ruling National League for Democracy has overhauled its leadership, giving the country’s new president, U Win Myint, the party’s top job behind chairwoman Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.

In an announcement released on Friday, the NLD said that according to a party decision at a central executive committee (CEC) meeting last Saturday, U Win Myint had been appointed vice chairman (1), while Mandalay Region Chief Minister U Zaw Myint Maung had been appointed vice chairman (2). Both men are in their 60s.

U Zaw Myint Maung was also recently appointed as party spokesmen along with U Myo Nyunt, a CEC member.

The party’s internal leadership revamp came at the same time as U Win Myint took over as the country’s new president and as the NLD led government marked two years in office on Friday.

U Win Myint, a favorite of de facto leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, was sworn into office on Friday after being elected as Myanmar’s 10th president on Mar. 28.

New party spokesperson U Myo Nyunt told The Irrawaddy that the appointment of the two vice chairmen was part of structural reforms to strengthen the party’s leadership and energize the NLD by giving more leadership roles to younger members instead of senior members—many of whom are in their 70s and 80s.

CEC member U Win Htein, 76, who is known to be the party’s steward and a close aide of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, was moved to an honorable member’s role. Along with three other party elders, U Win Htein was appointed as a member of the board of patrons.

Many have speculated what will happen to the NLD in the post-Daw Aung San Suu Kyi era. The party icon and co-founder is now 72 years old.

It is expected that U Win Myint as president will be more active than his predecessor and exercise more executive power while sharing governmental responsibilities with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.

Asked if U Win Myint would take over the leadership of the NLD after Daw Aung San Suu Kyi departs the scene, party spokesperson U Myo Nyunt said the party is set up that way for now.

But according to the constitution’s Article 64, on assuming the presidency, U Win Myint is expected to recuse himself from party activities during his term in office.