Naypyitaw may have made the right decision when they chose a man approachable for all and sundry as Shan State’s chief minister on 15 February, according to sources coming from the state capital Taunggyi.
Sao Aung Myat, 47, Shan-Danu, is a scion of the former princely Pwela House. He had served as commander of several battalions: IB 14, IB 228 and IB 242 before he retired last year to enter politics under Naypyitaw’s proxy party ticket.
“He appears to be very friendly and approachable,” said an elected representative of the Shan State Assembly. “He is not arrogant and speaks fairly good Shan.”
A representative of the White Tiger, the popular name for Shan Nationalities Democratic Party (SNDP), the second largest winning party in Shan State, said, “We don’t think he’ll be difficult to work with.”
Still, it won’t be plain sailing for the people of Shan State, remarks a source from Taunggyi.
The junta backed Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) “won” 54 out of 143 seats for the state assembly. Adding the 25% quota for the military, it has the largest seats: 90. The SNDP (31 seats) and others make up the rest. They are:
PaO National Organization (PNO) 6 seats
Ta-ang National Party (TNP) 4 seats
Inn National Development Party (INDP) 3 seats
Wa Democratic Party (WDP) 3 seats
Kayan National Party (KNP) 2 seats
National Unity Party (NUP) 1 seat
Lahu National Development Party (LNDP) 1 seat
Independent 2 seats