The newly formed cabinet of president-elect Htin Kyaw has been revealed to include at least one position for National League for Democracy (NLD) leader Aung San Suu Kyi, ending weeks of speculation about what role she would take in the government set to take power on 1 April.
Suu Kyi’s inclusion in a list of 18 ministerial nominees submitted to parliament this morning also raises other questions, however. Under Burma’s 2008 Constitution, cabinet members are not allowed to engage in party politics, meaning that Suu Kyi will have to distance herself from the affairs of the NLD, a party that she has led since its founding in 1988.
Another question is which–and how many–ministerial positions Suu Kyi will occupy. The number of nominees on the list, which didn’t match names to ministries, leaves open the possibility that she could take up to four of the 21 available cabinet postings.
It is widely expected that Suu Kyi will head the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which would give her a place on the military-dominated National Defence and Security Council, alongside the president and three cabinet members chosen by the armed forces. The country’s two vice-presidents and the speakers of both houses of parliament, as well as the commander-in-chief and deputy commander-in-chief of the armed forces, also sit on the powerful council.
Suu Kyi was one of just six NLD members chosen to serve in the cabinet of Htin Kyaw. The others are Dr. Aung Thu, Thant Sin Maung, Kyaw Win, Dr. Win Myat Aye, and Dr. Than Myint.
At least two former generals–Thura Aung Ko and Thein Swe–were also on the list, representing the Union Solidarity and Development Party, the army-backed party that formed the outgoing government.
To the disappointment of many observers, the list included only one woman–Suu Kyi.
The only confirmed appointments are those of Nai Thet Lwin of the Mon National Party, who has been picked to lead the newly formed Ministry of Ethnic Affairs, and Dr. Pe Myint, a writer who will take over the Ministry of Information.
Below is a complete list of all ministerial nominees. Parliament is expected to review the nominees tomorrow.
Aung San Suu Kyi
Dr. Aung Thu
Thant Sin Maung
Thura Aung Ko
Khin Maung Cho
Dr. Myint Htway
Dr. Win Myat Aye
Dr. Than Myint
Nai Thet Lwin
Dr. Pe Myint
Lt-Gen. Sein Win
Lt-Gen. Kyaw Swe
Lt-Gen. Ye Aung