Myanmar, Naypyidaw: In Myanmar’s first civilian government for decades, Aung San Suu Kyi would be foreign minister, her party said Yesterday, giving the democracy champion a formal post despite being blocked from the presidency. The Nobel laureate has vowed to rule through the man picked as president, Htin Kyaw, in the government which comes to power next week in the former army-ruled nation.
Suu Kyi was the sole woman and one of only six members of her National League for Democracy party in a cabinet list read out to lawmakers early on Tuesday by parliament’s Speaker Mann Win Khaing Than, who did not specify which position she or others would hold. But NLD spokesman Zaw Myint Maung later confirmed she would lead the foreign ministry and hinted that she would also hold other roles, without specifying which ones.
He told, “She will be the foreign minister, mainly. If she wants to share the duties she has in other ministries with qualified people, she can assign them”. Only 15 ministers were named for 18 posts chosen by the civilian government, sparking speculation that Suu Kyi would take on several portfolios.
Oxford-educated Suu Kyi, 70, is the daughter of Myanmar’s independence hero and towered over the country’s democracy movement as it waged a spirited and non-violent struggle against almost half a century of military rule. But she is blocked from the presidency by the junta-drafted constitution because her two sons are British, as was her late husband. Myanmar has undergone a stunning political transformation in recent years, blossoming from isolation under the junta to become an increasingly vibrant nation. Its growing political openness was crowned by a historic November election that saw the NLD storm to victory.