Myanmar parliament approves Aung San Suu Kyi ‘PM-like’ role
Myanmar’s parliament has passed a bill to create the post of “state counsellor”, which gives Aung San Suu Kyi a role similar to that of prime minister. The bill now requires only presidential approval from President Htin Kyaw to become law. Unelected military representatives holding a quarter of parliamentary seats boycotted the vote, calling the bill unconstitutional. Their protest were in vain as the military is outnumbered by elected MPs from the NLD. The first bill proposed by the new civilian government therefore passed unchanged. In addition to state counsellor, Ms Suu Kyi will also be foreign minister and minister in the president’s office.
Myanmar’s new cabinet
After the changes to the cabinet last week, this following list is the new Myanmar government. Aung San Suu Kyi holds three positions; State Counselor, Minister of the President’s Office and Minister of Foreign Affairs.
|Aung San Suu Kyi||State Counselor||NLD|
|Aung San Suu Kyi||Minister of the President’s Office||NLD|
|Aung San Suu Kyi||Minister of Foreign Affairs||NLD|
|Aung Thu||Minister of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation||NLD|
|Ye Aung, Lt. Gen.||Minister of Border Affairs||Military|
|Than Myint||Minister of Commerce||NLD|
|Win Khaing||Minister of Construction||Independent|
|Sein Win, Lt. Gen.||Minister of Defence||Military|
|Myo Thein Gyi||Minister of Education|
|Pyae Myint Htun||Minister of Electric Power and Energy||NLD|
|Naing Thet Lwin||Minister of Ethnic Affairs||MNP|
|Myint Htwe||Minister of Health||Independent|
|Kyaw Swe, Lt. Gen.||Minister of Home Affairs||Military|
|Ohn Maung||Minister of Hotels and Tourism||Independent|
|Khin Maung Cho||Minister of Industry||Independent|
|Pe Myint||Minister of Information||Independent|
|Thein Swe||Minister of Labour, Immigration and Population||USDP|
|Ohn Win||Minister of Natural Resources and Environment||Independent|
|Kyaw Win||Minister of Planning and Finance||NLD|
|Aung Ko||Minister of Religious Affairs and Culture||USDP|
|Win Myat Aye||Minister of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement||NLD|
|Thant Zin Maung||Minister of Transport and Communications||NLD|
Myanmar’s ex-president Thein Sein becomes Buddhist monk
Myanmar’s former president Thein Sein has shed his formal attire – and his hair – to become a Buddhist monk. Thein Sein’s ordination took place on 4 April, officials said, four days after he presided over the historic transition of power. Thein Sein has not spoken publicly about temporarily becoming a monk but the official statement indicated he has been considering it since January.
Central Bank Looks to Mobile Banking to Ramp up Financial Inclusion
The Central Bank of Myanmar (CBM) revealed on 4 April the official rules and regulations for mobile financial service providers (MFSPs), seen by observers as a way to reach more rural customers throughout Myanmar. Mobile banking is seen as a way to dramatically expand financial services in Myanmar to reach those in rural areas with limited access to physical bank branches and who might have irregular income, not uncommon in a country relying on agriculture.
Myanmar’s Suu Kyi meets China counterpart in FM debut
Aung San Suu Kyi met her Chinese counterpart on 5 April in the first diplomatic foray of her new pro-democracy government, underscoring the importance of relations with Beijing. China is seen as Myanmar’s biggest foreign policy preoccupation, with border wars and controversial China-backed mega-projects topping the agenda. At a press conference afterwards Suu Kyi described relations as “very important politically as well as socially and economically”.
Canadian Foreign Minister coming to Myanmar
Canada’s Foreign Minister Stéphane Dion will visit Myanmar on 6-8 April to meet the new government. The minister will meet President Htin Kyaw and Aung San Suu Kyi in Naypyidaw.