Coconuts Yangon Politics

This was the big buzzword of 2015 and 2016. Aung San Suu Kyi led her party to election victory in November of 2015 and formed a government in April 2016. This ended some five decades of military-controlled rule. In September 2016, the US dropped its remaining sanctions on Myanmar. But many problems remain. The military still controls 25 percent of parliament. Suu Kyi was barred from the presidential post because of a clause in the 2008 constitution – written by the military – preventing anyone with a foreign spouse or children from holding the post. She has one British son and one American son. Instead, she took the jobs of foreign minister and state counsellor, and her close aide Htin Kyaw was nominated for the presidency, giving her the leeway to still make all the decisions and represent the country as its de facto leader. For her administration to succeed, it will need to address an intimidating list of priorities, including making peace with several ethnic armed groups in the country and helping to resolve tensions in Rakhine State between Buddhists and Rohingya Muslims. Needless to say, stories about Myanmar politics are abundant on Coconuts Yangon.

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