Myanmar's ruling NLD introduces Bill on 'state adviser' title for Aung San Suu Kyi

Myanmar's Aung San Suu Kyi (centre) and Myanmar Military Chief, Senior General Min Aung Hlaing (right), at the presidential palace in Naypyitaw, on March 30, 2016.
Myanmar's Aung San Suu Kyi (centre) and Myanmar Military Chief, Senior General Min Aung Hlaing (right), at the presidential palace in Naypyitaw, on March 30, 2016. PHOTO: EPA

Myanmar's ruling National League for Democracy (NLD) introduced a Bill in Parliament on Thursday (March 31), the first day of the civilian administration after decades of military rule, seeking a new high position for party leader Aung San Suu Kyi. 

The position has been reported as a ''supreme adviser'' or ''state adviser",  which could mirror the role of a prime minister in other political systems. The Bill was introduced in the Upper House of the Parliament. 

A draft of the proposal, which mentions Ms Suu Kyi by name, would give her “responsibility to the Parliament regarding the performance of advice”, power to conduct any meetings deemed necessary and a budget, AFP reported.

The post would last for the same five-year term as the President and give Ms Suu Kyi access to the legislature, after she was forced to relinquish her parliamentary seat to join the Cabinet, AFP said.

“It will be discussed and approved coming days,” lawmaker Pu Gin Kam Lian from the Zomi Congress for Democracy Party, from western Chin state, told AFP.

Parliament is due to vote on the Bill on Friday. The NLD, with its clear majority in both houses, is almost certain to push it through. 

The intent, analysts say, is to confirm a high ''super minister'' position to officially consolidate power for Ms Suu Kyi, 70, who said before the November 2016 election that if the party won she would rule ''above the President.''  The NLD won by a landslide, reducing the military-backed Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) to a small backbench. 

The popular democracy icon is barred from the Presidency under the junta era constitution that bars anyone with foreign family links from the post. Ms Suu Kyi's late husband was British and her two sons are UK citizens.

Her nominee for President, long-time family friend and loyalist Htin Kyaw, 69, was sworn in yesterday along with his Cabinet including her. 

Ms Suu Kyi has already assumed four ministerial portfolios - foreign affairs, electricity and energy, education, and Minister in the President's office. But earlier this week a party official was quoted in reports saying she may not keep them all. 

The army is also still wields substantial political influence. It holds a quarter of all parliamentary seats - enough for a veto - and three key posts in the Cabinet.