Myanmar’s ruling party, the Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP), has made a major reshuffle of its leadership ahead of November’s general election.


It reformed its 47-member central executive committee (CEC) Thursday and retaining President U Thein Sein as the party’s chairman, the original post which he held in the party leadership.

Parliament speaker U Shwe Mann, who acted as the party chairman during U Thein Sein’s assumption of presidency since taking office, was removed and replaced by U Htay Oo, who was the party vice chairman.

U Htay Oo, an MP to the House of Representatives, was former Minister of Agriculture and Irrigation with a military rank of major-general during the previous military government and became the party vice chairman in 2012.

Meanwhile, USDP General Secretary U Man Man Thein was also substituted by U Tin Naing Thein, who was former Minister at the President’s Office and just resigned on Wednesday to join the party for the election running.
U Shwe Mann is said to retain the party membership as well as the parliamentary post as speaker and compete in the election as originally set.

Earlier, except Vice President Sa Mauk Kham, President U Thein Sein and Vice President U Nyan Tun made clear that both of them would not run the election.

However, the president had personally reserved his own constituency, Zaputhiri in Nay Pyi Taw, for Communication Minister U Myat Hein to run for the election.

The party’s spokesman also said it has not yet nominated candidate for the presidential polling, saying, however, if the party wins the election, its central committee will decide the person selected.

The spokesman continued to say according to the constitution, the president’s presence or absence from the election does not affect the continued assumption of presidency, adding that one can be proposed from both houses of the parliament as well as the military representatives from inside and outside the parliament to run for the election.

The reformation of the party’s CEC involving the removal of 12 CEC old members came after security measures of the party headquarters in Nay Pyi Taw was taken by the government’s security forces Wednesday night.
That night’s incident was followed by an emergency meeting of the party CEC on Thursday, in which the reformation of party leadership was carried out.

Hours before the major move, the President’s Office announced granting resignation of several ministerial officials, a move seen as being arranged to let them join and reinforce the party for the election.

They include four well-known ministers and four deputy ministers including Minister at the President’s Office U Tin Naing Thein, Minister of Communications U Myat Hein, Minister of Immigration U Khin Yi and Minister of Rail Transportation U Than Htay.

Besides, the government also allowed two other ministers, Minister of Defense Lieut. Gen. Wai Lwin and Minister of Border Affairs Lieut. Gen. Thet Naing Win, and two other deputy ministers to re-take their original posts in the military and then retire from the military to take part in the election as civilians for new parliamentary seats accordingingly.

Of the USDP candidates, one-third are freshers, while two-third are current MPs. Among them are 50 government officials and 59 ex- military officials including former Number 3 top military official Gen. Hla Htay Win, who retired from military services and transformed as party members for the election.

The 59 former military officials are shared with 19 for the House of Representatives, 7 for the House of Nationalities and 33 for the Region or State Parliament.

According to its figures, the USDP has nominated a total of 1, 147 candidates nationwide to run for the election. Of them, 320 are to contest for the seats of House of Representatives (Lower House), 166 for the House of Nationalities (Upper House), 632 for Region or State Parliament and 29 for Region or State Parliament of National Races.

Myanmar’s Union Election Commission has designated a total of 1, 179 constituencies across the country for the vote at four levels of parliament representatives.

The 2015 general election is to produce parliamentary representatives to the next term of the parliament which will form a government of new term in early 2016. Enditem

Source: Xinhua


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