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Burma’s ruling Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) released a statement on Thursday, announcing that party chairman Shwe Mann had been replaced by Htay Oo, who was previously a vice-chairman.
Noting that Shwe Mann had the “heavy duties” of being USDP chairman as well as Lower House speaker, the statement said he was being replaced as “now is a time to focus on party duties”.
President Thein Sein becomes acting chairman of the party, while Htay Oo becomes joint-chairman.
Tin Naing Thein is the new USDP general-secretary, taking over from Maung Maung Thein, who was also ousted in the internal coup last night.
A retired major-general from the Burmese armed forces, 65-year-old Htay Oo has long been regarded as a rising star among many in the military-backed ruling party.
He is due to run for re-election as a Lower House MP in his home constituency, Hinthada. He was formerly general-secretary of the USDP, and was Burma’s Minister for Agriculture and Irrigation from 2004-11.
Meanwhile, both the USDP’s news publications, the Union Daily and Leader Journal, have temporarily stopped printing in the wake of the party shake-up.
Speaking to DVB on Thursday, CEO and editor-in-chief of the Union Daily, Win Tin, said, “Publishing and distribution was halted as from today, but we are not closing the newspaper house. Our party leaders told us to cease publishing in the meantime.”
Read DVB’s 2013 interview with Htay Oo