By Bhaskar Roy
Naypyitaw, Myanmar, March 13, 2016
As Myanmar nears a historic political transition, the incoming National League for Democracy (NLD) will have a lot on their plate. They will face the enormous challenge of steering the country according to their plans. Having struggled for two and a half decades against a hardline military rule, they will have a clearer understanding of challenges in the domestic field. But in foreign policy the NLD lacks experience.
The power transition is not yet complete –the presidency till recently was up in the air since NLD Chief Aung San Suu Kyi remained debarred from the post because of Article 59(f) of the constitution. Her late husband was a foreigner, her two children are foreign citizens and it is unlikely that they will take up Myanmarese citizenship. At least, Suu Kyi hopes to run the country through a hand-picked president.
Of the two vice- presidents, one will be chosen by the army and the other by the NLD. Three important ministries, including defence and interior will remain with the army. Crucially, 25% of the seats in the parliament are reserved for the army and they are expected to vote as one bloc as per directions of the top military bosses. Hence, constitutional changes cannot be implemented without the army’s support. The new government would have to work from inside an army-controlled cage.
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