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Meeting to confirm new Irrawaddy Region chief minister postponed

The dais for the speaker of the Irrawaddy Region legislature is pictured on Monday in Pathein. (Photo: DVB)

An emergency meeting of the Irrawaddy Region legislature, convened Monday to approve a replacement for former Chief Minister Mahn Johnny, was postponed and rescheduled for 18 January, with lawmakers told a letter naming his successor had not yet been received from Naypyidaw.

Aung Kyaw Khaing, the speaker of the regional assembly, informed lawmakers of the postponement as they gathered at the parliamentary building in Pathein, the regional capital, on Monday morning.

Mahn Johnny tendered his resignation earlier this month, reportedly for health reasons. President Htin Kyaw accepted his resignation in an official announcement dated 9 January that said he had been “permitted to resign of his own volition.”

The president is constitutionally empowered to appoint the nation’s 14 chief ministers, and regional legislatures are given only narrow scope to reject the nominees — “unless it can clearly be proved that the person concerned does not meet the qualifications of the Chief Minister of the Region or State,” according to the charter.

Still, regional MPs met this week to sign off on the appointment, a likely formality that was nonetheless not to be on Monday.