Karenni State MPs Demand New Immigration and Population Minister Be A Local

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Parliamentarians in Karenni (also known as Kayah) State have stated that they want their next Minister of Immigration and Population to be someone from the state’s ethnic communities.

Among the minister’s responsibilities is the creation of the voter list for the upcoming 2020 elections.

Aung Naing Oo, who represents Mese Constituency 1, told Kantarawaddy Times that nominating someone from outside of these communities will lead to a degradation of rights for already marginalized groups.

“We want to appoint a native person for this position… from our political party or another party. If the person is from outside of Kayah State, the situation will be the same old,” he said. “Kayah State will lose its rights. The state will suffer, as will all of the ethnic people living in Kayah State.”

The issue of appointing a new minister was discussed in parliament from October 1-3, with parliamentarians strongly opposing the Karenni State chief minister’s first nominee, Tin Htay, who is the current chairperson of Kayah State Legal Aid. They voted down the nomination, 16-3.

MPs requested that the chief minister talk with them before nominating another individual to the post.

Naw Ee—also known as Khin Maung Tun—a parliamentarian for Hpruso Township Constituency 2, simply described Tin Htay as “a civil servant.” He strongly opposed Tin Htay’s nomination in the legislature, and said that the move was not in line with national, local or election laws.

MPs also objected to Tin Htay’s residence in Chikel ministerial housing before his appointment as the immigration and population minister was confirmed.

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