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Finance minister resigns amid graft allegations

Kyaw Win, Burma's former finance and planning minister, has resigned from that post. (Photo: MNA)

Burma’s Finance Minister Kyaw Win has resigned, President Win Myint said on Friday, weeks after local media first reported he was under investigation for alleged corruption.

Kyaw Win was “allowed to resign,” the president said in a short statement posted on the presidency’s official Facebook page late on Friday. The presidential office did not give a reason for the resignation in its statement.

Earlier this month local media reported that Burma’s Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) had searched Kyaw Win’s residence, and this week the Yangon-based English-language news magazine Frontier cited the ACC’s head as saying it was in the final stage of an investigation into corruption allegations against him. Reuters was not able to reach Kyaw Win for comment and neither the Burmese government spokesman nor the ACC responded to requests for comment late on Friday.

Spokesmen from ACC and the President’s Office have previously refused to confirm or deny reports of the raid, according to Frontier. Details of the alleged investigation were not available but it would be Burma’s highest-level corruption probe since de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi came to power in 2016.

The finance minister’s resignation comes amid growing frustration with Suu Kyi’s management of the economy. Burma replaced its key finance and energy officials last year to address concerns over slower economic growth. Suu Kyi also faces mounting international condemnation for a military operation that has sent nearly 700,000 Rohingya Muslims fleeing to neighbouring Bangladesh.

Nearly five decades of military rule has left Burma mired in poverty and plagued by corruption. A quasi-civilian government in 2014 appointed the anti-graft commission.

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