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Suu Kyi scales back cabinet roles

BBC News BBC News 4/04/2016
Aung San Suu Kyi and senior military figures share a light moment during the presidential swearing-in ceremony: Despite Aung San Suu Kyi's unofficial power, relations with the powerful military will still be crucial © AFP Despite Aung San Suu Kyi's unofficial power, relations with the powerful military will still be crucial

Aung San Suu Kyi has reduced the number of ministries she will run in Myanmar's new government.

She will not now take over the education and energy portfolios, but will still be foreign minister and minister in the president's office.

Parliament has also proposed giving her the role of "state counsellor", a new position similar to prime minister.

Aung San Suu Kyi leads the National League for Democracy (NLD) that took power on Wednesday.

However she is constitutionally barred from becoming president, because of her children's foreign citizenship.

Despite this, she has vowed to run the country from behind the scenes through her friend and ally, the newly inaugurated President Htin Kyaw.

Two former civil servants have been nominated to take over the education and energy ministries, in place of Aung San Suu Kyi.

The BBC's Jonah Fisher says Myanmar's government ministries are extremely bureaucratic, with decisions usually requiring a ministerial signature.

Many had seen Ms Suu Kyi's move to take on four of the most important portfolios as too big a task, says our correspondent.

In scaling back her day-to-day responsibilities, she will be hoping to focus more on running the country and implementing much needed change, he adds.

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