Myanmar′s president-elect nominates Suu Kyi to cabinet | News | DW | 22.03.2016
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Myanmar's president-elect nominates Suu Kyi to cabinet

The pro-democracy icon has vowed to rule Myanmar through a proxy. But her ministerial appointment could spell the end of Suu Kyi's role as the leader of the National League for Democracy.

Myanmar's Aung San Suu Kyi in parliament

Suu Kyi formed the National League for Democracy in 1988 following mass pro-democracy protests

President-elect Htin Kyaw on Tuesday submitted a list of 18 proposed ministers to parliament, with Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi at the top.

Suu Kyi, who leads the National League for Democracy (NLD), is reportedly nominated for four ministerial offices, including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

If she assumes the role of foreign minister, it would give her a seat on the 11-member National Defense and Security Council (NDSC), a presidential advisory group dominated by the military.

The NLD leader, who has long championed democracy under military rule, has vowed to rule the country via proxy since the constitution forbids her from serving as president.

"It doesn't matter how many ministries she takes, as she will run the whole government anyway," said senior NLD lawmaker Win Htein, according to Reuters news agency.

However, accepting a cabinet position would force her to give up her seat in parliament and relinquish the leadership of the NLD, which swept into power in November's decisive elections.

Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy won a supermajority in November's elections

Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy won a supermajority in November's elections

Military rule

A military junta ruled Myanmar for more than 50 years prior to General Khin Nymt's announcement in 2003 that the country would take measures to transition to a democracy.

The list also included a member of the Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP), known for its links to the military.

"I believe the NLD proposed my name as the minister because they believe in me," said senior USDP politician Thein Swe, who was nominated for labor minister. "I will prioritize and look after the people."

The military continues to wield significant power in Myanmar's changing political landscape, with 25 percent of the parliament's seats reserved for the former rulers.