Shan minister first of Burma govt to resign

State-run newspapers in Burma yesterday announced the resignation of Shan state’s regional minister for planning and economy, Thaung Shwe, who becomes the first member of the new government to step down.

His resignation was officially approved by President Thein Sein, who heads the Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP), of which Thaung Shwe is a member.

Little is known about the reasons for his departure, although sources close to the minister put it down to “personal problems”.

Rumours have circulated that Thaung Shwe practices polygamy, and tenuous links have been made between this and his resignation, although nothing has been confirmed.

His departure comes less than three weeks before the second session of Burma’s parliament, where ministers are expected to scrutinise legislation and address complaints about the annual budget.

Thaung Shwe told an interviewer earlier this year that he would work to boost collaboration among ministers in Shan state, and pledged to make clean water accessible across the state, Burma’s biggest and most populous. Little else is known of him.

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