Suu Kyi given Myanmar cabinet position

Htin Kyaw, left, walks with NLD leader Aung San Suu Kyi at Myanmar's parliament in Naypyitaw. 15 March 2016.Image copyright

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President-elect Htin Kyaw said his appointment was a victory for Aung San Suu Kyi

Aung San Suu Kyi, whose National League for Democracy (NLD) party won historic elections in Myanmar in November, has been given a place in the new cabinet.

Her name was on a list of 18 cabinet members submitted to parliament by President-elect Htin Kyaw.

The list contains only names, and their ministries will be revealed later.

But the BBC’s Jonah Fisher in Yangon says Ms Suu Kyi will head up foreign affairs, energy, education and be minister in the president’s office.

There are no other women appointed to the cabinet, he adds.

‘Suu Kyi’s victory’

Myanmar’s constitution, drafted by the outgoing military rulers, prevents Aung San Suu Kyi from becoming president because her two sons have British passports.

President-elect Htin Kyaw is her close ally, and she previously said that she would be “above the president” anyway, governing through a proxy.

Our correspondent says the cabinet announcement came as a surprise. Having been barred from the presidency, many had assumed that Ms Suu Kyi would control Myanmar’s new government from the outside, he adds.

Fifteen of the names on the list were chosen by Ms Suu Kyi, a Nobel laureate and former political prisoner, and three by the commander-in-chief of the army.

Parliament is expected to vote later in the week to confirm the posts.

After his election last week, Htin Kyaw said his appointment was “Aung San Suu Kyi’s victory”.

The NLD has a huge majority in both houses of parliament, despite the military occupying 25% of seats, so the candidate it backed was all but guaranteed to win.

Despite weeks of negotiation prior to the vote in parliament, the NLD was unable to persuade the military to remove or suspend the clause that prevented Ms Suu Kyi taking office.

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