NLD’s Self-Declared Parliament Reappoints Daw Aung San Suu Kyi as Myanmar’s Leader

By The Irrawaddy 10 February 2021

De facto Myanmar leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi was appointed to a second term as the country’s State Counselor by a self-declared Parliament formed by elected lawmakers of her National League for Democracy, in an act aimed at defying military rule and asserting their electoral legitimacy.

The military staged a coup last week and arrested the democratically elected leaders of the NLD government, President U Win Myint and State Counselor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. The takeover came a few hours before the convening of what was to be the first session of the new Parliament since November’s general election, in which the NLD saw a landslide victory.

The coup essentially abolished the Parliament. However, the elected NLD lawmakers, who were preparing to attend Parliament in Naypyitaw when the coup occurred, held an improvised swearing-in ceremony later in the week and declared the Parliament to be in session.

Daw Aung San Suu Kyi was first appointed State Counselor in 2016 by the NLD-dominated Parliament. The legislature at the time enacted the “State Counselor Law” to give her an official title to go with her informal de facto leader status, as she is constitutionally barred from the country’s presidency due to the foreign citizenship of her sons and her late spouse.

Military representatives in Parliament objected to the law at the time but were defeated by the NLD’s majority vote.

On Tuesday, the self-declared Parliament appointed Daw Aung San Suu Kyi as Myanmar State Counselor through 2025.

Under the law, the State Counselor’s term lasts five years.

According to State Protocol, the State Counselor is the second highest-ranking state official after the President.

The military regime has detained Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and charged her with violating the Export and Import Law, claiming they found nine illegally imported walkie-talkies at her residence.

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