Suu Kyi nominated for cabinet post in Myanmar

Suu Kyi nominated for cabinet post in Myanmar

Tuesday, March 22, 2016 8:09 am

Suu Kyi: may serve as foreign minister

Suu Kyi: may serve as foreign minister

Aung San Suu Kyi was nominated as a cabinet minister in Myanmar’s civilian government on Tuesday, giving the democracy veteran a formal position despite being blocked from the presidency in a nation ruled for decades by the military.

The Nobel laureate, who has vowed to rule above the next president Htin Kyaw, was named first in a list of ministers read out to lawmakers by the parliament speaker, who did not specify which position she or others would hold.

“I hereby present the list of names for those who should become union ministers, proposed to the parliament by the president-elect,” parliament speaker Mann Win Khaing Than told MPs.

A parliamentary vote to confirm the posts is expected later in the week.

Observers say Suu Kyi is likely to take the role of foreign minister, giving her a cabinet post, international clout and a seat at the country’s influential Security Council, which is dominated by the still hugely powerful military.

Under Myanmar’s complex political rules, the cabinet role means she will likely have to forego her formal position as head of her National League for Democracy, which she led to a stunning victory in historic November elections that were the freest in generations.

Suu Kyi, 70, is the daughter of Myanmar’s independence hero and has towered over the country’s democracy movement as the figurehead of its spirited, non-violent struggle against decades of military rule.

Her ban from the presidency has been a thorn in the side of her party since it was allowed a space in parliament under the out-going quasi-civilian government led by President Thein Sein, a retired general.

She is barred from the presidency by the junta-drafted constitution because her late husband, British academic Michael Aris, and two sons are British.

Suu Kyi has held several rounds of talks with army chief Min Aung Hlaing since the NLD scored a thundering majority in the elections, but was unable to remove the constitutional barrier that obstructs her path to the top political job.

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