ArrowArtboardCreated with Sketch.Title ChevronTitle ChevronIcon FacebookIcon LinkedinIcon Mail ContactPath LayerIcon MailPositive ArrowIcon PrintIcon Twitter
Myanmar Crisis

Myanmar 'provisional government' appoints leader to counter junta

Former speaker of upper house Mahn Win Khaing Than tapped by NLD-led group

Health and medical students hold placards in support of the Committee Representing Pyidaungsu Hluttaw while marching on the main road of Mandalay on March 7.   © AP

BANGKOK -- The Committee Representing Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (CRPH), led by lawmakers from pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy (NLD), announced on Tuesday that it has appointed Mahn Win Khaing Than as Myanmar's acting vice president.

The CRPH's move is seen as acting on its desire to establish a de facto "provisional government" until Suu Kyi and others are released.

The newly appointed acting vice president had served as the speaker of the upper house of Myanmar's parliament until the military staged a coup on Feb. 1, detaining Suu Kyi and other NLD officials. He will "perform the duties of the president," the CRPH said in a statement.

According to local media, he is an ethnic minority Karen as well as a Christian -- an estimated 70% of Myanmar's people are Burman Buddhists. He is also the grandson of Ba Khaing, a politician who was assassinated in 1947 along with independence hero Aung San, father of Aung San Suu Kyi. He became a lawyer and reportedly joined an ethnic Karen political party in 1990.

He joined the NLD in 2013 and in the 2015 elections won a parliament seat from the state of Kayin. In 2016, he was appointed as speaker of the upper house, seen as part of Suu Kyi's bid to increase ethnic diversity.

Following the coup, the military detained and "dismissed" Suu Kyi, the state counselor and de facto top government leader, and President Win Myint, among other NLD officials, sparking international condemnation. Suu Kyi had concurrently served as foreign minister.

The CRPH insists that the NLD administration led by Suu Kyi is the country's legitimate government. On March 2, the CRPH also appointed nine acting cabinet ministers, including acting foreign minister.

Meanwhile, Myanmar's state-run television reported on Tuesday that Kyaw Zwar Minn, Myanmar's ambassador to the U.K., who had called for Suu Kyi's release, has been recalled. It explained that the diplomat "did not act in accordance with the responsibilities given" to him.

Support for the CRPH is growing among officials sent from Myanmar to international organizations and diplomatic missions.

Kyaw Moe Tun, Myanmar's ambassador to the United Nations, appointed before the recent political upheaval, read out a CRPH statement condemning the coup in late February during a meeting of the U.N. General Assembly in New York.

Myanmar's military "dismissed" the top U.N. envoy, but the CRPH said it will let him stay in the post.

Sponsored Content

About Sponsored Content This content was commissioned by Nikkei's Global Business Bureau.

You have {{numberArticlesLeft}} free article{{numberArticlesLeft-plural}} left this monthThis is your last free article this month

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia;
the most dynamic market in the world.

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia

Get trusted insights from experts within Asia itself.

Get trusted insights from experts
within Asia itself.

Try 1 month for $0.99

You have {{numberArticlesLeft}} free article{{numberArticlesLeft-plural}} left this month

This is your last free article this month

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia; the most
dynamic market in the world
.

Get trusted insights from experts
within Asia itself.

Try 3 months for $9

Offer ends October 31st

Your trial period has expired

You need a subscription to...

  • Read all stories with unlimited access
  • Use our mobile and tablet apps
See all offers and subscribe

Your full access to Nikkei Asia has expired

You need a subscription to:

  • Read all stories with unlimited access
  • Use our mobile and tablet apps
See all offers
NAR on print phone, device, and tablet media

Nikkei Asian Review, now known as Nikkei Asia, will be the voice of the Asian Century.

Celebrate our next chapter
Free access for everyone - Sep. 30

Find out more