Bill giving Suu Kyi a powerful government role clears first hurdle, now moved to Lower House for debate

The upper house of Parliament of Myanmar approved of a bill on Friday giving Aung San Suu Kyi, a powerful government role, though there was a lot of opposition from military on the second day of her party’s new administration. The role given to her is of a State Counselor, which allows her to coordinate with ministers and influence the executive. The Myanmar military believes that providing her with special advisory role is unconstitutional in nature.

aung san suu kyi
Aung San Suu Kyi during oath taking ceremony

The bill was passed on the second day of her party’s new administration and has now moved to the lower house for more debate. It will help in finding a new way in the constitution which was formed under the junta and that is preventing her in leading the country as two of her sons are not the citizens of Myanmar. The bill has passed its first hurdle. And, if passed, it will give Suu Kyi a new-powerful role in the Parliament.

Suu Kyi has spent years under house arrest because of her fight for democracy. She called these constitutional provisions silly and said she would rule regardless of what happens. The nation was under Military rule for more than half a century until recently when Suu Kyi and her party took power. Suu Kyi’s close aid Htin Kyaw has been elected as the first civilian president of Myanmar. Her party won the elections held in November, and has now decided to rule the country despite the constitutional block which she is facing now.

The members of the party from the military have opposed the bill, known as NLD bill (National League for Democracy). They feel that the state counselor has too much power and this power is being given to one person. They alleged that the move lacks the checks and the balances.

Col. Myint Swe, a military member of the Upper House, said, “The provisions in the bill are tantamount to meaning the state counselor is equal to the President, which is contrary to the constitution.”

Though, the bill has faced a lot of military resistance, it has been passed and has been moved to the lower house now for a debate on Monday. The National League for Democracy has majority in both the houses and they do not need military for the approval of the bill.

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