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USDP members directly appointed as Burmese village administrators

New Delhi (Mizzima) – Burmese township authorities have directly appointed Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) members as ward and village administrators, according to political parties that contested in the election.

‘These reports were sent to us from Rangoon and Bago regions and some townships from Magwe Region’, National Unity Party (NUP) spokesman Han Shwe told Mizzima.

He said the 2008 Constitution Chapter 5 Executive Article 289 stipulated, ‘The administration of wards or village-tracts shall be assigned in accord with the law to a person whose integrity is respected by the community’. It offers no detailed provisions in this regard.

‘The necessary laws for this matter must be made by Parliament. Our party wants, as the Constitution stipulates, the administrators to be people whose integrity is respected by the community’, Han Shwe said.

Unity and Diversity Party chairman Nay Myo Wei said such appointments also occurred in Mingaladon Township and in Bogale. I have been told by my party members that there were no invitations or prior information. All these administrators were appointed directly by an order given by higher authorities’.

Rangoon Region government minister Nyan Tun Oo was quoted by Rangoon journalists in May 2011: ‘The ward and village tract administrators will not be members of any political party'. He also said that the appointments must be made by coordination with local elders and respected community figures. 

Observers said only USDP members were appointed as ward or village-tract administrators.

Thirty-five people from Rangoon Region, North Htaukkyat Ward, have sent a letter to the district administrator objecting to the appointments.

‘The USDP manipulated these appointments and no local elders were informed in advance. When you look at what Minister Nyan Tun said and what actually happened it’s clear. There was no transparency’, Shwe Nyein, one of the local elders who signed the letter, told Mizzima.

Residents in wards including Ye Su, Ye Su South, Lay Su Taung, Ywama and Bawlonekwin will also send similar objection letters.

There are 33 townships in Rangoon Region with 2,056 village tracts and 657 wards, according to a domestic news journal quoting Region Command commander Major General Win Myint in January 2010.

Ward and village-tract administrators are influential in handling petty crimes in local areas, making sale deeds of property and performing religious functions, social functions and funerals. They are also the key person in communicating with the township, district and region chairmen for the area. Since the time of the former military regime, local administrators have been directly appointed by higher authorities.

Last Updated ( Friday, 24 June 2011 23:35 )  

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