By OLIVER SLOW & HEIN KO SOE | FRONTIER
YANGON — Former Pyidaungsu Hluttaw speaker Thura U Shwe Mann has criticised a decision by senior members of the Union Solidarity and Development Party to expel him and other aides from the party.
Earlier, reports had emerged that 17 members of the party, including Shwe Mann, had been expelled from the military-backed USDP.
The decision is seen as the latest move in a power-struggle between Shwe Mann and former president U Thein Sein.
In a dramatic late-night move in Nay Pyi Taw last August, Shwe Mann was ousted from the USDP leadership and his allies were removed from senior party positions. Figures close to Thein Sein replaced them in their roles.
On April 25, Shwe Mann posted a statement on his Facebook page confirming he had received a letter asking him to leave the USDP on April 22. He criticised the move, saying it did not reflect public opinion.
In February, Shwe Mann was made chairman of the Legal Affairs and Special Cases Assessment Commission of the union parliament, a new commission founded to review new bills. The announcement was seen as further evidence of Shwe Mann’s close working relationship with foreign minister and state counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.
“If I am or am not a party member is not important, I would like to work for the public interest and that is my first priority… I would like to cooperate with the parliament, government and the public for the interests of the country,” he said in the statement.