UNITED24 - Make a charitable donation in support of Ukraine!

Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Presidential-Style Powers Proposed for Aung San Suu Kyi

by Richard Green March 31, 2016

The party of Myanmar democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi submitted a proposal that would make her an official "state advisor," a move that would allow her to play a dominate role in running the country.

A bill was introduced Thursday in parliament that would specifically allow the Nobel Peace laureate to control and conduct the activities of all the ministries. She already holds down four posts in President Htin Kyaw's 18-member Cabinet – the ministries of foreign affairs, education, energy and the president's office.

The measure is expected to easily pass in the legislature, which is dominated by Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy.

The NLD won overwhelming control of both chambers of parliament in November's elections, giving it control over the presidency. But Myanmar's constitution – drafted by the military junta before turning over power to a quasi-civilian government in 2010 – bars anyone with a foreign-born spouse or children from becoming president – a clause that applies to Aung San Suu Kyi, since her late husband was British, as are her two sons.

President Htin Kyaw, Aung San Suu Kyi's childhood friend and longtime confidant, was sworn in Wednesday as Myanmar's first civilian head of state since 1962, bringing an end to complete or partial military rule.

But the military remains a political force in Myanmar – it holds 25 percent of all parliamentary seats, plus the key ministerial posts of home affairs and defense, enough to give it veto power over any proposed constitutional changes. Post-election talks between Aung San Suu Kyi and the military to remove the clause failed.

Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list