Aung San Suu Kyi set to become minister in new Myanmar government

Aung San Suu Kyi

Myanmar’s president-elect Htin Kyaw has nominated Aung San Suu Kyi to join the cabinet formed by National League for Democracy (NLD) ending speculation over whether the leader of the country’s governing party would hold a position in the government. Speculations are rife that Ms Suu Kyi may become the Myanmar’s new foreign minister. Ms Suu Kyi was not able to become president because of a constitutional provision, despite the fact she led her party to a mudslide win in general elections last November. Earlier, the NLD spokesman Zaw Myint Maung had said that Ms Suu Kyi might not take a cabinet position and instead rule as party leader from parliament. If she takes a position in the executive she would have to give up her MP seat and end party activities.

“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 said in the parliament. A parliamentary vote to confirm the posts is expected later in the week. Still, Suu Kyi’s entry into the government is a remarkable turn of fortunes not only for the Nobel Peace laureate but also for the country, which had been under an iron-fisted military rule since 1962. For decades the junta kept Myanmar in isolation and economic stagnation while refusing to listen to international counsel or homegrown demands for democracy.Ms Suu Kyi’s entry into the government is a significant change in not only for Myanmar’s politics but also for the Nobel Peace laureate. She had been under military rule since 1962. For years, the junta kept Myanmar in seclusion and economic stagnation, not listening to international community and homegrown demands for democracy.

According to reports, the Nobel laureate was negotiating with the junta to remove the clause that bars her from the presidential post as her two sons are foreign citizens – both are British.

The incoming government will face many crucial challenges such as conflict in ethnic minority border areas, deep-rooted poverty and the need to swiftly improve the country’s crumbling infrastructure and ignored education and health services. In addition, another challenge will be to maintain a smooth relationship with the junta that detained Ms Suu Kyi and other NLD leaders for years during their fight against repressive army rule.

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