Myanmar Upper House clears way for Aung San Suu Kyi as consultative figure

Nay Pyi Taw: Myanmar’s House of Nationalities (Upper House) yesterday approved the bill designed to pave the way for appointing Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi as a consultative figure to the state.

Myanmar’s Foreign Minister Aung San Suu Kyi. Pic/PTIMyanmar’s Foreign Minister Aung San Suu Kyi. Pic/PTI

The bill calling for appointment of a state consultative figure was submitted to the House of Nationalities of Myanmar on Thursday.

This is happening despite opposition from the military on the second day of her party’s new administration. Members of parliament from the military — who under the constitution hold a quarter of seats — opposed the NLD bill, describing it as unconstitutional. They said the state counsellor position concentrated too much power in the hands of one person and lacked checks and balances.

The bill, moved by a member of parliament from the ruling National League for Democracy (NLD) and was accepted by the house for debate, aims at flourishing democracy, building federal union, peace and development, it was explained.

Aung San Suu Kyi, NLD chairperson, was on Wednesday appointed as Myanmar’s new foreign minister, concurrently holding three other portfolios — minister at the president’s office, minister of Education and minister of Electric Power and Energy.

The Lower House has also appointed Aung San Suu Kyi as chairperson of the Joint Coordination Committee for development of parliamentary affairs.

The concentration of power and high office in Aung San Suu Kyi, a graduate from the Lady Shri Ram College for Women in New Delhi, culminates over two decades of peaceful political struggle for democracy in Myanmar.

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