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Hardline Burmese vice president to be replaced

A leading hardliner in the Burmese government, Tin Aung Myint Oo, the first vice president, who earlier submitted his resignation for health reason will be replaced in seven days, according to a message sent to the Parliament by President Thein Sein on Wednesday.
Hardliner: Burmese Vice President Tin Aung Myint Oo  Photo: Mizzima
Read by Parliament Speaker Khin Aung Myint, the message said that a new first vice president will be elected by a joint session of the lawmakers.

Tin Aung Myint Oo, 61, was nominated by the non-elected military parliamentarians who hold over 25 percent of the seats in Parliament. He last appeared in public on April 16 when he attended the water festival activities in Yangon.

His resignation came following statements by top government leaders calling for all top officials to work to promote the government’s democratic reforms and to serve the interest of the people.

The Financial Times reported on April 20 that Tin Aung Myint Oo and President Thein Sein did not work well together and noted his absence from the spotlight.

Citing sources close to the government, the newspaper said the vice president was one of several officials slated to be “moved to different roles or have their responsibilities reduced,” perhaps over fears that they could hold up the lifting or removal of  Western sanctions.

Burma watchers say Tin Aung Myint Oo was considered to be one of the most corrupt of the ex-generals in the current government. The appointment of his replacement could signal important: if his replacement is known as a more moderate figure, it could mean the Thein Sein government has taken more control away from hardliners, who have their own ideas about reforms. His resignation came after the government-backed political party was trounced in the by-election by the National League for Democracy.

Tin Aung Myint Oo is one of Burma’s two vice presidents, and he was a leader among a conservative, hardline faction that carried over from the former military junta into the year-old military-backed government of Thein Sein, who has been praised for his democratic reforms.

In 2009, Tin Aung Myint Oo was appointed military adviser to longtime junta leader Gen. Than Shwe. He was elected to the Lower House a year later as a candidate for the Union Solidarity and Development Party, and was then quickly nominated for vice president by military delegates.

Tin Aung Myint Oo was northeast commander in 1990 and became first secretary of the former military junta State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) in 2007.

Along with other military leaders, he retired as a lieutenant-general and ran for the 2010 general election as a candidate of the Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP), in which he was elected a member of the Lower House. His seat was filled by a candidate of the National League for Democracy, who is a popular singer.

In February 2011, he and Dr. Sai Mauk Kham were elected first and second vice president respectively by the Parliament.
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 04 July 2012 16:18 )  

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