Aye Maung

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Aye Maung (Burmese: အေးမောင် [ʔé màʊɴ]) is an Arakanese politician and was the chairperson of the Arakan National Party, one of Myanmar’s ethnic political parties. He is currently the leader of the Arakan Front Party.

  1. Political beginning
  2. Bid for Chief Minister
  3. Resignation from Arakan National Party
  4. Arrest and release
  5. End Notes / External Links

Political beginning

An ex-veterinarian, Dr Aye Maung’s political career began when he formed and chaired the Rakhine Nationalities Development Party to contest the 2010 general elections in Rakhine State. His party contested all the electoral seats available for the state in both Houses of Parliament and the state legislature, and had won 35 out of 44 seats in the elections. Dr Aye Maung had personally won a seat for the Rakhine State No.1 constituency in the Amyotha Hluttaw, and assumed his role as member of parliament on 1 February 2011.

Bid for Chief Minister

In the run-up to the 2015 general elections, Dr Aye Maung announced his intentions to secure the position of Chief Minister for his party, as well as to dominate the state legislature, in a direct challenge to the two main contenders the Union Solidarity Development Party and the National League for Democracy. In accordance to the Constitution of Myanmar, the Chief Minister must be selected from a member of the state legislature, and thus as part of his party’s campaign he ran as a candidate for the state legislature in Manaung Township. However, during the elections, he lost the race to the candidate from the National League for Democracy.

Resignation from Arakan National Party

Following persistent internal strife within the party, Dr Aye Maung tendered his resignation from the party as both chairman and member on November 27, 2017.

On 8 January 2018, the party announced that they would ‘suspend’ Dr Aye Maung as chairman, despite him having tendered his resignation five weeks prior. The party also stated that it would give him a time to reconsider his resignation from the Arakan National Party.

Arrest and release

On 18 January 2018, Dr Aye Maung was arrested by the Myanmar Police Force at his home in Sittwe. This was following his attendance at an event in Rathedaung Township to commemorate the 233rd anniversary of the fall of the Arakan Kingdom of Mrauk U to the Konbaung Dynasty in 1785, in which he allegedly gave a speech urging the Arakan people to “take advantage of the weakness of the government and to march towards the goal of sovereignty”. The police has announced that they intend to charge Dr Aye Maung for unlawful assembly, as well as for the act of high treason and the incitement of rebellion against the government. He has become the first member of parliament to be arrested since the implementation of the latest constitution in 2008.

On 10 September 2018, the local court in Sittwe charged Dr Aye Maung for high treason and conducting public mischief, while the charge for unlawful assembly was dropped.

On 19 March 2019, Sittwe District Court sentenced him to 20 years for high treason under section 122 of the Penal Code and two years for incitement under section 505(b) of the Penal Code, to be served concurrently.The Union Election Commission stripped him of his lawmaker status on 20 May 2020 and barred him from running for future elections.

As part of a general amnesty to commemorate Union Day, Dr Aye Maung was one of 23,000 prisoners conditionally released on 12 February 2021 under the orders of the Chairman of the State Administrative Council.

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