Myanmar hardliners face axe in 'reshuffle'

Several hardliners will leave Myanmar's top leadership in an imminent reshuffle, officials said Wednesday, as the reformist regime welcomed the parliamentary debut of Aung San Suu Kyi's opposition.

The move signals growing confidence among reformers in the quasi-civilian government, observers said, and coincides with the ascension of Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy (NLD) to the heart of political decision making.

Around three senior ministers are expected to be replaced soon by more moderate figures in the new line-up, a government official told AFP. "Those who are about to be reshuffled are known as hardliners," the official said.

It will be the first major change of personnel in the top echelons of a regime that has implemented wide-ranging reform since it replaced junta rule last year, raising hopes the former pariah state can move towards democracy.

In addition to the reshuffle, the speaker for both chambers of parliament announced the resignation of vice president Tin Aung Myint Oo, a renowned hardliner closely linked to former junta chief Than Shwe, citing health reasons.

Tin Aung Myint Oo disappeared from the public eye to become a monk in May. His successor will be chosen by military personnel who hold one quarter of the seats in parliament.

"To fill the vacant seat of the vice president, the cluster of military representatives have to choose a new vice president... by July 10," said Union Parliament speaker Khin Aung Myint. The nominee will later be approved by MPs.

Nicholas Farrelly, research fellow at the Australian National University, said the reshuffle "gives new impetus to President Thein Sein's reformists and provides them with more room to manoeuvre".

"A refreshed decision-making line-up reinforces the message that this transition process requires new blood," he told AFP, adding the regime wants to avoid the impression that "the only reformists in town are Aung San Suu Kyi and her NLD".

The dramatic reorganisation comes as the NLD is recast from the role of dissident outsider to a mainstream political player, with an opportunity to shape policy for the first time after years muffled by the junta.

Newly-elected NLD MPs joined a new parliament session in the capital Naypyidaw Wednesday, although Suu Kyi will miss the opening days as she recovers from her gruelling European tour and visits her constituency.

She is due to join proceedings in the purpose-built capital on Monday.

Topping the agenda for parliament is the deadly communal violence in June between ethnic Buddhist Rakhine and Muslim Rohingya that left dozens dead and tens of thousands homeless.

A state of emergency, which requires parliamentary approval, is still in place after the outbreak of violence that Thein Sein has warned could damage the country's emergence from decades of military rule.

State mouthpiece the New Light of Myanmar on Wednesday quoted the president again urging an end to "ethnic conflicts" saying "unending racial rift or armed ethnic fights hinder economic development".

Myanmar has been racked by conflicts with ethnic minority rebels for decades.

The government has this year sought tentative truces with a number of armed groups this year, but fighting continues between the army and ethnic rebels in Kachin state.

A new foreign investment law -- to govern the expected rush of overseas cash into the once secretive state amid hopes of the resurgence of its long neglected economy -- was approved by the Upper House on Wednesday and will be sent back to the Lower House for further discussion.

Suu Kyi on Tuesday pledged the NLD will join "the legislative concert" and push for greater transparency once inside parliament.

The 67-year-old, who returned on Saturday from a triumphant five-nation European tour, was swept into parliament in landmark April by-elections that saw an NLD landslide.

She will travel to the capital Naypyidaw over the weekend, after visiting her constituency following more than a month's absence.

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • The Race to Global Greatness - YGP6
    The Race to Global Greatness - YGP6

    Yamaha Motor Philippines (YMPH) recently held the first leg of the Yamaha Grand Prix 6 at the SM Sta. Rosa compound in Laguna. The racing categories for this year are the following: Automatic Inter-Club RaceUnderbone Inter-Club Race115 Superstock ATVega Force i SuperstockSniper 150 Open UB130 Open UBMio 125 MX i …

  • Volkswagen opens new showroom along Quezon AvenueVolkswagen opened a new showroom along Quezon Avenue, …
    Volkswagen opens new showroom along Quezon AvenueVolkswagen opened a new showroom along Quezon Avenue, …

    Volkswagen opened a new showroom along Quezon Avenue, which is now the automotive row of Northern Metro Manila.At the Innauguration was Chief Operating Adviser Klaus Schadewald, Branch Manager Bob Anthony Palanca, Volkswagen Philippines: President and CEO John Philip Orbeta and General Manager Nemesio Solomon, Jr. This new showroom has the latest Volkswagen Interactive Showroom applications. ... …

  • Nissan launches its “Virtual to Reality” GT Academy here in the Philippines
    Nissan launches its “Virtual to Reality” GT Academy here in the Philippines

    The Filipino Gran Turismo gamer just became eligible to become a Pro Race Car driver as Nissan Philippines Inc. launched its GT Academy here in the Philippines. The object is to find the best Grand Turismo players in both the online qualification process and participating in the live events after which they’ll compete with each other in National Finals to see who gets to attend the 3 month Race camp.  The winner gets to stay in the UK near Silverstone and will take part in UK national and club …

  • Osmeña wants electricity exempted from VAT
    Osmeña wants electricity exempted from VAT

    Sen. Sergio Osmeña III wants electricity to be exempted from value added tax under a proposed measure that will amend the National Internal Revenue Code of 1997 and the Reformed VAT Law. He said the move aims to ease the burden of the public in paying high electricity rates in the country. “VAT on electricity is another burden on the already over-taxed shoulders of our people, especially those whose incomes are barely enough to cover their basic needs. Osmeña, chairman of the Senate …

  • No lotto draws starting tomorrow until Easter Sunday
    No lotto draws starting tomorrow until Easter Sunday

    No lotto tickets will be sold and no lotto draws made starting tomorrow, Maundy Thursday, up to Easter Sunday in observance of Holy Week. In a statement, Jose Ferdinand Rojas II, acting Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) chairman and general manager, said the selling of lotto tickets and lotto draws will resume on April 6,  Monday. “We thank all Lotto players for your trust and confidence in the PCSO games, and we count on your continued support of our efforts to raise funds for …

  • Quake rocks C. Visayas
    Quake rocks C. Visayas

    A magnitude-3.2 earthquake rocked parts of Central Visayas yesterday. State seismologists said the quake was an aftershock of a powerful tremor that hit the region in 2013. The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said the quake occurred at 7:54 a.m. Its epicenter was located 10 kilometers  southeast of Buenavista, Bohol. Phivolcs director Renato Solidum said the quake was an aftershock of the magnitude-7.2 earthquake that hit Bohol on Oct. 15, 2013. …

  • Super howler nears Phl
    Super howler nears Phl

    A typhoon that has devastated islands in the Pacific is forecast to become a category 5 monster howler as it barrels toward the Philippines this week. The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said Maysak will be named Chedeng when it enters the Philippine area of responsibility tonight or tomorrow morning. In an interview, PAGASA weather forecaster Gener Quitlong said the forecast track of Maysak may still change depending on the movement of …

  • Philips Gold finally shines

    Philips Gold made 11 service aces on its way to beating Mane ‘N Tail, 25-19, 27-25, 25-16, for its first victory in the Philippine Super Liga (PSL) All-Filipino Coinference Monday night at The Arena in San Juan.Former College of St. Benilde standout Rossan Fajardo had six aces as part of her 10-point output as the Lady Slammers finally barged into the win column after losing their first two matches.Ex-National University star Myla Pablo led Philips Gold with 14 points highlighted by 12 kills, …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options