The Rakhine National Party has urged for the post as Rakhine chief minister be given to a native of the state, ahead of preparations to appoint the candidate during a Hluttaw session on June 25.

The RNP – the state’s single largest party that holds 18 of the 47 seats in the local hluttaw – issued the statement on June 23, following the appointment of Major General Maung Maung Ohn to replace Major Nyan Lin Maung in the state hluttaw as a Tatmadaw representative.

The 2008 Constitution requires the union government president select a chief minister with the relevant qualifications “from among the region or state hluttaw representatives.”

Maj Gen Maung Maung Ohn who is widely believed to be the president’s preferred candidate, was previously Deputy Minister of the Union Ministry for Border Affairs and head of the Rakhine State’s Emergency Coordination Centre.

Maj Gen Maung Maung Oh’s appointment coincided with the resignation of U Hla Maung Tin as Rakhine’s chief minister on June 19.

“There are more than 30 MPs; potential chief ministerial candidates who have been elected by the people but now it seems as if someone will be appointed now from out of nowhere,” U Aung Mya Kyaw, (Rakhine State Hluttaw, RNP, Sittway township) told Mizzima on June 23.“All our party’s MPs disagree with this approach.”

Another RNP member,U Thet Tun Aung (Rakhine State Hluttaw, RNP,Pauk Taw township), said he felt a native of Rakhine State would better represent the needs of those living there.

“Maj Gen Maung Maung Ohn’s duties have seen him involved in some of the affairs of Rakhine State but for dealing with the constant affairs of Rakhine State, we believe a native of the state is required,” U Thet Tun Aung said.

Union Solidarity and Development Party minister, U Aung Naing Oo (Rakhine State Hluttaw, USDP, Than Twe township) did not appear to share the RNP’s concerns.

“President [Thein Sein] is the patron of our USDP Party; neither the party nor individuals will object if the president was to appoint Maj Gen Maung Maung Ohn as the chief minister,” U Aung Naing Oo said.

The 2008 constitution also states: “the appointment of a person as a chief minister of the Region or State nominated by the President shall not be refused by the Region or State Hluttaw unless it can clearly be proved that the person concerned does not meet the qualifications of the Chief Minister of the Region or State,” – of which locality is not a qualifying requirement.