Burmese Junta Tips New Prime Minister
covering burma and southeast asia
Sunday, November 28, 2021

Burmese Junta Tips New Prime Minister

By The Irrawaddy Friday, May 18, 2007


As Burma’s ailing prime minister remains in a private hospital in Singapore, the military government apparently has named a senior general as acting premier, according to the official press o­n Friday.

With the absence of ailing premier Gen Soe Win, The New Light of Myanmar for the first time o­n Friday described Lt-Gen Thein Sein, the junta’s secretary 1, as "acting premier." There has been no official announcement of the transfer of positions.

The designation came after the junta’s prime minister, Gen Soe Win, returned to Singapore for medical treatment o­n Sunday. Soe Win, who is said to suffer from leukemia, returned to Burma o­n May 3 after more than two months at a hospital in Singapore.

He spent 10 days at a military hospital in Rangoon before heading back to the island-state o­n Sunday.

The prime minister position is largely a ceremonial title and is not regarded as a key position within the military government, which came to power in 1988. Following earlier reports of a serious illness, Soe Win was expected to be replaced. Several senior generals have been tipped for the post in the past.

The fifth-ranking general in the regime, Thein Sein, who is in charge of the government-sponsored National Convention and Brig-Gen Myint Hlaing, the former head of Northeast Command who now heads Burma’s air defense department, were among those who have been tapped as successors.

Burma's official press has been silent about the health condition of Soe Win.

Soe Win became prime minister in October 2004, replacing the junta’s Gen Khin Nyunt who has been under house arrest since 2004. Dissidents claim that Soe Win was involved in mob attacks o­n opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi at Depayin in Sagaing Division in May 2003.

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