Myanmar's newly installed government is poised to create a special-yet-powerful advisory role for leader of the ruling National League for Democracy (NLD) Aung San Suu Kyi, as she is barred from taking the post of president. The parliament is set to pass a new bill called the State Counselor Law to bestow more constitutional powers on the Noble peace laureate.
MPs of the NLD – the party which Suu Kyi headed to win elections held in November 2015 – submitted the bill to the upper house, which is likely to pass it on 1 April.
The bill specifically mentions the name of Suu Kyi, who has been earmarked for the role of state counsellor, which is in line with her earlier pledge of functioning "above" the presidency. The bill needs to be first passed by the upper house and then the lower house – NLD holds majority MPs in both houses.
Meanwhile, NLD lawmaker Aung Kyi Nyunt submitted the proposal to the upper house and said "appointing Suu Kyi as the state adviser would be a way to include the people". The state adviser's term will also be the same as that of Myanmar's president, whose term would end in 2021.
According to the draft, the aim of the bill is "to help multi-party democracy flourish, to generate a vibrant market economy, to establish a federal Union and to spur peace and development in the Union". The freshly created advisory role will mirror the position of prime minister for Suu Kyi.
Myanmar, formerly Burma, is undergoing a landmark transition to democracy from a quasi-civilian leadership. The Southeast Asian nation has been ruled by the military for more than five decades.
"This position would be the highest in the country. If it is approved, [Suu Kyi] will be the head of state," NL D lawmaker Phyu Phyu Thin told Irrawaddy daily.