Army MPs slam bill to give ‘advisor’ role for Suu Kyi

(From AFP)

Myanmar military MPs on Friday said a plan to bolster Aung San Suu Kyi’s power with a special advisory role was unconstitutional, as the new civilian government tussled with the army just days after taking office.

Newly sworn-in Myanmar Foreign Minister Aung San Suu Kyi (L) speaks to army generals on March 30

Newly sworn-in Myanmar Foreign Minister Aung San Suu Kyi (L) speaks to army generals

The Southeast Asian nation was dominated by the military for more than half a century until Wednesday when Suu Kyi and her pro-democracy party took power.

The Nobel laureate, whose party secured a landslide election win in November, has vowed to rule the country despite a constitutional block on her becoming president.

In a surprise early act of parliamentary business by the new government, Suu Kyi’s party proposed a bill to grant her a special “state counsellor” position.

If passed, it would give the 70-year-old a steering role over parliament, buttressed by the four ministerial posts she already holds in the new cabinet.

In a sign of early turbulence between her party and the still hugely influential army, military MPs called the move unconstitutional in an upper house debate Friday that saw the bill pass its first legislative hurdle.

Colonel Myint Swe raised fears the plan would place the “president and the advisor at the same level”.

“This is in opposition to the constitution. So I would like to suggest the bill be amended according to the constitution,” he told lawmakers. Read More



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