Suu Kyi set for Myanmar cabinet

epa05224967 (FILE) A file picture dated 03 February 2016 shows Myanmar democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi (R) attending Amyothar Hluttaw (upper house parliament) as an observer during the first day of upper house parliament session in Naypyitaw, Myanmar. On 22 March 2016, Suu Kyi was nominated to for a cabinet position in the incoming Myanmar government, led by the National League for Democracy (NLD), a political party led by Suu Kyi.  EPA/HEIN HTET

Naypyidaw / AFP

Aung San Suu Kyi was nominated as a cabinet minister in Myanmar’s civilian government on Tuesday, giving the democracy champion 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 Mann Win Khaing Than, who did not specify which position she or others would hold.
A parliamentary vote to confirm the posts is expected later in the week.
The NLD only named 15 ministers for 18 posts chosen by the civilian government, sparking speculation that Suu Kyi will take on four portfolios.
Suu Kyi is the sole woman and one of only six NLD members in the cabinet, which also includes members from the main army-backed Union Solidarity and Development Party in keeping with the NLD’s pledge for a cabinet of national reconciliation.
Observers say she is likely to at least 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.
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. But she is blocked by the junta-drafted constitution because her late husband was British, as are her two sons.
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.
“I feel confident with this new government formation,” said NLD upper house MP Myat Ngana Soe after the announcement, adding that Suu Kyi would continue to hold sway over the party.
Suu Kyi’s 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.

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