Myanmar's new parliament has proposed a bill that would give Aung San Suu Kyi the power to rule "above" the president. The bill would circumvent a junta-era constitutional rule preventing her from leading the country.
In its first act since taking charge on Wednesday, Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy (NLD) party submitted a bill to parliament on Thursday to make the democracy champion a special state advisor, which would give her dominant control over Myanmar's first civilian government.
Banned from becoming president by the junta-era constitution, the bill would give Suu Kyi considerable control over the president, cabinet, ministries and parliament. She already controls four ministries: foreign affairs, education, energy and the president's office.
One lawmaker described the law as making the 70-year-old Nobel Laureate "the president's boss," effectively fulfilling her promise to be "above" the president.
Suu Kyi, who spent years under house arrest under the military junta, brought her NLD a stunning victory in November elections, sweeping up 80 percent of the vote.
The party controls both houses of parliament and is expected to pass the bill, which specifically mentions her by name.
Suu Kyi was barred from the presidency under the junta-era constitution that bans anyone from holding the office who has close foreign relatives. Her late husband and two sons are British citizens.
Htin Kyaw, a longtime friend ofSuu Kyi, was made president.
Bill raises questions
Some critics worry that Suu Kyi could overburden herself and get little done by taking over too many portfolios in a young transitional democracy facing a host lingering economic, social and political challenges.
The NLD's move also raises questions over how a military that ruled the country for nearly 50 years and has sought to prevent her from becoming president will react.
Min Aung Hlaing, the commander in chief of the armed forces, has warned against amending the constitution.
The military is guaranteed three ministries under the democratic transition plan and a quarter of seats in parliament.