Myanmar Gets First Civilian Government In Decades | WBEZ
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Myanmar Gets First Civilian Government In Decades

Former political prisoner Aung San Suu Kyi is now in charge of part of Myanmar's government, after a trusted ally in her party was sworn in as president Wednesday. Despite the change in leadership, Myanmar's military still holds significant power.

Suu Kyi was just steps away from her aide, U Htin Kyaw, as he was sworn in as president today. Prohibited from seeking her country's top post, she now becomes Myanmar's foreign minister and will head other ministries, as well.

NPR's Anthony Kuhn reports:

"In a speech before parliament, incoming president U Htin Kyaw made it clear that he takes orders from Nobel Peace Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, who is constitutionally barred from the presidency, despite her party's landslide electoral victory in November.

"U Htin Kyaw emphasized that his party's goal is to change the constitution, which gives the military an automatic quarter of the seats in parliament."

Suu Kyi has said she'll have sway over decisions made by U Htin and her National League for Democracy party. Despite the apparent breakthrough of a civilian government taking power in Myanmar, the majority party remains shut out of Myanmar's police and security forces, which are staying under the military's control.

As Myanmar News reports, "Questions remain if Suu Kyi could yet become president after amending section 59(f) of the charter over the five-year term of the new government."

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit NPR.

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