Myanmar's Aung San Suu Kyi A New Role

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Aung San Suu Kyi is barred from becoming the country’s president by virtue of a clause written into the constitution, which excludes anyone with family members who hold foreign nationality. Both of Suu Kyi’s adult sons are British citizens, as was her late husband.

Long time democracy figurehead Aung San Suu Kyi has been given a position in Myanmar’s government – one created especially for her.

The Hluttaw, Myanmar’s parliament, created the post of State Counsellor, which will allow Aung San Suu Kyi to ‘contact ministries, departments, organisations, associations and individuals’ in an official capacity, and makes her accountable to parliament.

The new position is widely expected to allow her to rule by proxy. The military minced no words and was critical of the position since it ‘violates the separation of powers laid out in the country’s constitution’.

Military Member of Parliament Maung Maung said that the bill, which was pushed through the Upper and Lower Houses by the newly elected majority government of Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) Party, amounted to ‘democratic bullying,’ the Global New Light of Myanmar newspaper reported.

Aung San Suu Kyi is barred from becoming the country’s president by virtue of a clause written into the constitution, which excludes anyone with family members who hold foreign nationality. Both of Suu Kyi’s adult sons are British citizens, as was her late husband.

In November 2016, the NLD swept national elections, taking around 80 percent of the available seats. Aung San Suu Kyi’s long time confidante Htin Kyaw was sworn in as the country’s first democratically-elected president in March.

She is already the foreign minister, and the bill outlining her advisory role enables Suu Kyi to wield influence over parliament as well as in the cabinet. The bill led to the first political battle Aung San Suu Kyi has fought with the military in parliament. The army-aligned Union Solidarity and Development party (USDP) opposed it fiercely.

It is noteworthy that the daughter of the country’s assassinated revolutionary hero Aung San Suu Kyi is the only woman in the cabinet.

Although there is huge potential for foreign investment and tourism, the new civilian government has its tasks cut out. Improving relations with the army and resolving the ongoing civil wars in ethnic minority border areas will remain top priorities.

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Diplomatist Bureau

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Diplomatist Magazine was launched in October of 1996 as the signature magazine of L.B. Associates (Pvt) Ltd, a contract publishing house based in Noida, a satellite town of New Delhi, India, the National Capital.

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