Impeached Rakhine minister slams secretive investigation

By MRATT KYAW THU

Impeached Rakhine State Minister for Municipal Affairs U Min Aung has denied any wrongdoing and criticised the investigation that recommended his removal, saying it lacked transparency.

He told Frontier that the assembly had not given him the chance to defend himself against allegations he mishandled the rebuilding of five markets and would soon hold a press conference to set the record straight. 

“I’m confident in what I’ve done,” Min Aung (National League for Democracy, Taungup-2) said. “After I’ve discussed the issue carefully with the chief minister, I’ll announce a date for the press conference.”

The Rakhine State Hluttaw on January 2 voted 37-8 to impeach the minister for “inefficient discharge of duties” under section 263(a)(v) of the 2008 Constitution, meeting the two-thirds threshold. Lawmakers ignored a last-minute plea from chief minister U Nyi Pu (National League for Democracy, Gwa-2) to postpone the vote.

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Although secret voting was used, the numbers indicate that the Arakan National Party, Union Solidarity and Development Party and military lawmakers voted to impeach, while NLD members voted against.

Seventeen MPs submitted an impeachment motion on November 29 and house speaker U San Kyaw Hla (ANP, Ponnagyun-1) formed a five-member investigation team on December 5.

Prior to the January 2 vote, lawmakers were told that the investigation team found nine reasons to proceed with impeachment. However, its report was marked confidential and not read out or released.

“They didn’t state the report in assembly publicly and also they didn’t let me respond to their allegations [in the hluttaw],” said Min Aung.

Under the constitution, the speaker will now forward the impeachment report to President U Htin Kyaw.

Under section 263(e)(ii), “The president, upon receipt of the report, shall remove the impeached chief minister or minister of the region or state.”

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