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Senior Burmese General Quits Parliament

VOA News February 16, 2011

Burmese news reports say a former top member of Burma's military government has resigned his seat in parliament, in a surprise move less than three weeks after he was sworn in.

The reports say a letter of resignation from former Lieutenant General Tin Aye was read aloud Wednesday by the speaker of the military-dominated parliament. No explanation was given for the departure.

Wednesday's resignation follows reports last week of the arrest and dismissal from parliament of a second general, Myint Aung, who was thought to be in line to become commander-in-chief of Burma's armed forces.

The Burmese news magazine Irrawaddy says Myint Aung was placed under house arrest after refusing an appointment as defense minister. The report also said several properties and a vehicle provided Myint Aung by the government had been seized.

The Burmese parliament opened its first session in more than 20 years on January 31, following elections in November. Former military officers or their allies hold more than 80 percent of the seats in the legislature. This has prompted critics to reject government claims that Burma is moving forward with democratic reforms.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.

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