Myanmar's Parliament Approves Suu Kyi for Cabinet Position

Aung San Suu Kyi.

Photographer: Xinhua/U Aung via Getty Images

Myanmar’s parliament approved Aung San Suu Kyi and 17 other nominees to take positions in the incoming government’s cabinet, though what ministries they will head has yet to be announced.

There were no objections in Thursday’s parliament session to the names put forward by President-elect Htin Kyaw. There was no confirmation of local media reports that Suu Kyi will take leadership of four ministries: foreign affairs, the president’s office, energy and education.

Despite her National League for Democracy party’s landslide victory in November’s election, Suu Kyi is constitutionally barred from serving as president. Her close confidant, Htin Kyaw, was selected to take the position in her place, though she has said she will still run the government.

Suu Kyi, 70, and her party are longtime opponents of the generals who ruled Myanmar until 2011, when they handed power to their political arm. Her party has been vague about its plans once the handover from President Thein Sein’s government is completed by April 1 and it was unclear when details would be announced about who would head each ministry.

To take a cabinet post, Suu Kyi will need to step down as a lawmaker and also from her role as leader of the party she helped found more than 25 years ago. If she does take on the role of foreign minister, Suu Kyi would gain a seat on the powerful National Defense and Security Council. The board, which was created in the departing junta’s constitution, is packed with military appointees and could potentially exercise broad power over the elected government.

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