The Nation



Myanmar names a hardliner as new vice president

U Myint Swe is seen in public with opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi

U Myint Swe is seen in public with opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi

A former Military Affairs Security Chief U Myint Swe, Yangon Region Chief Minister, has been nominated on Tuesday for new vice president after Vice President Thiha Thura U Tin Aung Myint Oo resigned from the post on health reasons.

The reason behind naming him for the post by Hluttaw representatives from Defence Services personnel is that he is supposedly able to work a lot for the nation, People’s Parliament representative Brig-Gen Wai Lin told reporters in Nay Pyi Taw on 10 July 2012.

U Myint Swe, seen as a hardliner for close ties to the former junta and its violent crackdown on "Saffron Revolution" uprising in 2007 that received worldwide condemnation, when he was the Commander of Yangon Command.

Some army officers who are close to U Myint Swe said that he gained promotions as he was an obedient soldier and faithful to the armed forces.

During the military regime, he was known to be personally close to Senior General Than Shwe, a factor linked to his success in the military. U Myint Swe was reportedly close to Senior General Than Shwe and his wife during his rise to the top.

In the late 1990s, U Myint Swe took over U Thein Sein's role as General Staff Officer, a powerful position in the Military Headquarters, where he worked directly under Senior General Than Shwe and Vice Senior General Maung Aye during the previous military regime.

He graduated from the 15th Intake of Defence Services Academy and rose through ranks up to Lieutenant General in the army. He also served as Chief of Military Affairs Security as well as Chief of the Bureau of Special Operation-5, a department that also oversees security affairs in Yangon.

He has become a Hluttaw representative after winning in the elections from the Union Solidarity and Development Party representing Seikkyi-Khanaungto Township Constituency No.2.

The 61-year-old, who is an MP for the ruling party in Yangon, got into the hot water after the unrest and riots in Rakhine State. He said that the local media is currently fuelling the riots in Rakhine State. Despite the State Constitution grants freedom of expression for journalists, reporting must not endanger stability of the state, sovereignty or the rule of law.

He also warned journalists not to write provocative usage that could lead to the instability in the country, and threatened the reporters with up to nine years imprisonment under Section 5(j) of the Emergency Provisions Act.

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