Su Su Lwin Concentrates on New Role as Burma’s First Lady

By Tin Htet Paing 31 March 2016

RANGOON— Burma’s first lady, Su Su Lwin,has been replaced as chair of the Lower House’s International Relations committee, the parliamentary chamber’s Speaker Win Myint announced on Thursday.

Zaw Thein, a sitting lawmaker in Irrawaddy Division’s Wakema constituency, filled the position. He was previously a member of the committee and there was no objection to his appointment from lawmakers, said the speaker.

Win Htein, a senior member of the National League for Democracy (NLD), told The Irrawaddy on Thursday that replacing Su Su Lwin would allow her to serve more effectively in her role as first lady.

“Because she is also the first lady, she wouldn’t have been able to actively fulfill her responsibilities as the committee chairperson,” Win Htein said.

Dr. Hla Moe, chairman of the Committee on Scrutinizing Parliamentary Representatives, echoed Win Htein’s opinion.

“She now has other, more important responsibilities,” he said.

However, he could not confirm whether she had resigned her parliamentary seat in the Lower House as well.

Su Su Lwin became an NLD party member just before Burma’s 2012 by-election, in which she won a seat representing Rangoon’s Thone Kwa constituency in Parliament, winning re-election to the seat last year.

“The Lower House speaker will notify all lawmakers during a parliamentary session if her resignation is confirmed,” he said.

Burma’s 2008 military-drafted Constitution doesn’t state that the first lady must retire or resign from her parliamentary position, but there is speculation that she is considering it.

Win Htein told The Irrawaddy that the NLD hadnot decided whether or not to let her resign her seat.

She also served as head of the NLD’s education committee until last week, when the party dismissed all committee members in order to reconfigure under the new government. People hope she will use her decades of experience as an education specialist and her role as first lady to improve Burma’s education system, which fell behind under the military regime.

The Irrawaddy was unable reach Su SuLwin for comment on Thursday.