How prepared will the NLD-dominated hluttaws, the NLD party and the NLD government be on April 1 to face the challenges ahead? Will they be able to bring peace and prosperity to the country in cooperation with the Tatmadaw?
NLD leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi said after the November election that she would make all decisions in the new government. However, under the 2008 Constitution, if she takes a cabinet position to lead the government she will have to relinquish her management of the hluttaws and the party. To do that she will need to be careful with appointments in the hluttaws. Let’s see what she has done.
Daw Aung San Suu Kyi appointed NLD central executive committee member U Win Myint as Speaker of the Pyithu Hluttaw and U Mann Win Khaing Than as Speaker of the Amyotha Hluttaw. But she did not seem to feel assured, so she appointed her confidant and ally, former Speaker Thura U Shwe Mann to head a Union-level commission, enabling him to provide support for the speakers. The Commission for the Assessment of Legal Affairs and Special Issues to which Thura U Shwe Mann was appointed was created by him after the previous parliament convened in 2011. The commission has been given greater authority, and has 35 members, more than any other similar parliamentary body.
The NLD leader’s appointment of the former Speaker to head the commission will enable Thura U Shwe Mann to control the Union Parliament behind the scenes. An important consideration is that, as Daw Aung San Suu Kyi intends to become a cabinet member she will not be able to hold meetings with senior NLD members, including U Win Myint and U Mann Win Khaing Than. But she can meet occasionally with Thura U Shwe Mann, who is not an NLD member, and send messages to the Hluttaw through him.