Suu Kyi nominates former general as head of advisory panel

Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy (NLD) names former general, once third most powerful man of junta in Myanmar as head of advisory panel

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Former general Shwe Mann talks to reporters during a news conference on January 29, 2016.

Myanmar’s democracy leader Aung Suu Kyi’s NLD party has named former general, Shwe Mann as the head of a prominent legal advisory panel on the eve of the poll for a new president.  

Shwe Mann, who was once the third most powerful man of the junta and effective in Myanmar’s policy making for half a century, has become Suu Kyi’s key adviser on her way to democratic transition after her party won a historic election in November.   

Suu Kyi’s party NLD had won 80 percent of the elected seats, pointing the way for a lengthy transition that will end on April 1.

The NLD-dominated parliament started its term this week. 

The appointment of Shwe Mann, a former speaker of parliament, will allow Suu Kyi to benefit from his deep understanding of the army and the outgoing government.Thus she would strengthen her hand in the assembly.  

The panel will consist of MPs, technocrats and members of the military.

Prominent writer and political analyst Pe Myint said that, "Its duty is giving advice to the parliament, through the speaker, on legal and special matters."

The panel, formally named the Legal Affairs and Examination of Special Matters Commission was set up by Shwe Mann in 2011 to tackle with the parliament's resource shortage.  

According to the state media, the commission approved 149 laws until its term ended in January.  

Myanmar's parliament is divided between the NLD majority and the military, which owns quarter of the seats under the junta-drafted constitution.

The constitution bars Suu Kyi from becoming president as her children are foreign citizens.

TRTWorld, Reuters