Calls to fill YCDC seats as mayor shirks poll

The Myanmar Times - - News - YE MON yeemon­tun@mm­times.com

AL­THOUGH the Man­dalay Re­gion gov­ern­ment plans to hold a Man­dalay City De­vel­op­ment Com­mit­tee elec­tion later this month, Yan­gon’s mayor does not see a press­ing need to do like­wise to fill va­cant seats on MCDC’s coun­ter­part in the com­mer­cial cap­i­tal.

The 2013 Yan­gon City De­vel­op­ment Com­mit­tee Law con­sti­tutes the mu­nic­i­pal body with nine mem­bers: four elected and four di­rectly ap­pointed by the mayor, who serves as the com­mit­tee’s ninth mem­ber.

YCDC’s eight elected and ap­pointed mem­bers were re­moved from their seats in May af­ter a change to by-laws gov­ern­ing the com­mit­tee saw their terms trun­cated to co­in­cide with the five-year term of the pre­vi­ous Union gov­ern­ment, which ended on March 30.

Yan­gon Mayor U Maung Maung Soe ap­pointed four in­terim mem­bers in June to take up the com­mit­tee’s du­ties in the in­terim.

He has sought to pass re­spon­si­bil­ity for ar­rang­ing a mu­nic­i­pal poll.

“I don’t know yet the date and it would be ar­ranged by the [re­gional] gov­ern­ment and par­lia­ment. I’m busy do­ing other YCDC ac­tiv­i­ties,” he said.

But re­gional MP Daw San­dar Min (NLD; Seik­gyi Khanaungto 1), chair of the Fi­nanc­ing, Eco­nomic and Plan­ning Com­mit­tee, told The Myan­mar Times that she did not think the com­mit­tee’s four in­terim mem­bers could han­dle all its re­spon­si­bil­i­ties, urg­ing the mayor to hold an elec­tion to fill the empty seats as soon as pos­si­ble.

“We al­ready asked the gov­ern­ment about the elec­tion and they an­swered that they will ar­range the elec­tion soon. Now, it’s been a long time. The YCDC elec­tion law men­tions that the com­mit­tee is to be formed with nine mem­bers. The mayor should study the law – the elec­tion does not in­volve our par­lia­ment,” she said.

Un­der the law, the mayor, in his dual role as min­is­ter for city de­vel­op­ment, is re­spon­si­ble for or­gan­is­ing the YCDC elec­tion.

When The Myan­mar Times in­ter­viewed Yan­gon Re­gion Chief Min­is­ter U Phyo Min Thein in April, he said the gov­ern­ment would amend the elec­tion law to grant suf­frage to all res­i­dents 18 years of age or older. A vote in late 2014 was re­stricted to one adult mem­ber of each house­hold in pos­ses­sion of gov­ern­ment-is­sued res­i­dency doc­u­ments.

The lim­i­ta­tions meant that out of 5.2 mil­lion peo­ple un­der YCDC’s ju­ris­dic­tion, only 401,000 were able to cast bal­lots.

U Khin Maung Tint, a for­mer com­mit­tee mem­ber elected in that poll, this week of­fered sup­port for broad­en­ing the elec­torate, and urged a swift vote.

“If the gov­ern­ment doesn’t hold the elec­tion as soon as pos­si­ble, YCDC’s du­ties won’t be com­pleted by four mem­bers. The elec­tion should be held for the sake of Yan­gon res­i­dents,” he said.

The sur­prise change to the YCDC by-laws, which ef­fec­tively forced the pre­vi­ously elected mem­bers from of­fice against their will, has not been ex­plained to the re­gional leg­is­la­ture.

“We are still mon­i­tor­ing whether the mayor will ex­plain or not about the amend­ment of the by-laws. They can amend the by-laws di­rectly but it is nec­es­sary to in­form the par­lia­ment,” said Daw San­dar Min.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Myanmar

© PressReader. All rights reserved.