NLD fires two insubordinate lawmakers

Dr. Thet Thet Khine speaks at a US-ASEAN training event in Yangon in Aug. 2014. Photo: USAID
Dr. Thet Thet Khine speaks at a US-ASEAN training event in Yangon in Aug. 2014. Photo: USAID

The National League for Democracy dismissed two lawmakers from leadership posts within the party last month for violating party regulations during their interactions with the media.

Lower House member Dr. Thet Thet Khine and Yangon regional parliament member Kyaw Zeya, both representing Dagon Township, served by default as chairpersons of the NLD’s leadership committee in that township. On Aug. 25, they were informed by that party’s Central Executive Committee that they had been removed from their committee posts for violating party regulations, though they were not told which regulations they had violated.

The Central Executive Committee publicly announced their dismissals two days later, but it did not offer an explanation, leaving the two lawmakers to deduce the reasons from previous interactions with the party’s leadership.

Since he took office, Kyaw Zeya has become known for his criticisms of urban planning policies enacted by the Yangon Region government, which is controlled by NLD members. He told the Myanmar Times: “During an interview I did a while ago with Radio Free Asia, I said that some things were going wrong between the party, the government, and parliament. After that, I had to submit a letter stating that I will be more careful when talking to the media. But this time, I was suspended without even knowing the reason.”

Dr. Thet Thet Khine has cultivated a similar reputation. Last month, she criticized the Myanmar government’s economic policies and their role in the country’s weakening currency and dwindling exports. She also came out against the Ministry of Construction for keeping major building projects to itself without inviting bids from the private sector. She also accused the ministry of using substandard materials and other forms of negligence in carrying out public works.

A week after their dismissal, NLD spokesman Dr. Myo Nyunt told Eleven: “The two MPs were dismissed according to the party’s rules. Members can remonstrate and debate about different views in the party, but they must follow policies and directives. Talking about things with one-sided views may hamper the party’s unity.”

Although the two MPs have lost their party leadership positions, they remain members of the NLD and will continue to serve as MPs.

Dr. Thet Thet Khine reacted to the news of her dismissal, saying: “I’m free to work at the parliament still. Parliament is convenient for me because I work in accordance with the parliament law.”

She went on: “The news didn’t shock me. Mainly, I want to work for the nation. This is the fourth [dismissal] of this kind. I would like to urge the NLD to initiate more reform processes and building tasks for the party.”

Before this ordeal, the NLD had suspended three MPs. Two appealed their suspensions and were reinstated, while the third quit the party. Several other NLD members are currently under investigation for other alleged party rule violations.

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