Suu Kyi gets green light for cabinet post
Burma's President Thein Sein has said that recent reforms in the country are irreversible, and even hinted that Aung San Suu Kyi – once one of the world's most celebrated political prisoners – could be given a cabinet post.
In his first interview with Western media, Thein Sein told the Washington Post that Burma was "on the right track to democracy". The president, who has headed a nominally civilian government for the past nine months, said it was conceivable that the Ms Suu Kyi could be given a position following by-elections this spring.
"If the people vote for her, she will be elected and become a Member of Parliament. I am sure that the Parliament will warmly welcome her. This is our plan," he said. Asked if he would like to see Ms Suu Kyi in his government, he replied: "If one has been appointed or agreed on by the Parliament, we will have to accept that she becomes a Cabinet minister."
Thein Sein has surprised most observers with the pace of reforms he has introduced – easing restrictions on the media, legalising unions and protests and releasing the most high-profile political prisoners from jail. For this he has been rewarded with a flurry of senior diplomatic visitors including the US Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton, and the British foreign secretary, William Hague.
Thein Sein suggested to the Washington Post that the US and EU should drop sanctions against Burma, saying: "What is needed from the Western countries is for them to do their part."
Ms Suu Kyi's party, the National League for Democracy, welcomed the prospect of a cabinet post for its leader, who was freed from a long spell of house arrest in 2010, but said it was too early to tell if the reforms of recent weeks warranted the removal of Western sanctions.
- 1 I'm A Celebrity 2014: Jungle security stepped up after murder and 'suspicious death' near to camp
- 2 To help fuel their propaganda machine against the poor, our government has now decided to redefine the word 'welfare'
- 3 Jeremy Hunt: 'I took my children to A&E because I didn't want to wait for GP appointment'
- 4 Girl, 7, gets Tesco to remove 'stupid' sign suggesting superheroes are 'for boys'
- 5 This letter from a reader explains why women can’t play football
Sarah Vine criticises lesbian mother Jack Monroe: 'If she was unsure about her sexuality, she should have taken greater precautions'
Black Friday 2014: Opening times for Asda, John Lewis, PC World, GAME and Argos
Three-year-old boy accidentally shoots dead his mother in Tulsa, Oklahoma, as she changes her younger daughter's nappy
Michael Brown shooting: Driver smashes into crowd as protests erupt across the US during a second night of unrest
Jeremy Hunt: 'I took my children to A&E because I didn't want to wait for GP appointment'
Rochester by-election: Ukip gains second MP as Tory defector Mark Reckless holds seat
'Beast of Bolsover' Dennis Skinner takes Ukip MP Mark Reckless to task moments after he is sworn in
Ukip says babies born to immigrants in the UK should be classed as migrants – which would include Nigel Farage’s own children
The young are the new poor: Sharp increase in number of under-25s living in poverty, while over-65s are better off than ever
Tamir Rice: 12-year-old boy playing with fake gun dies after being shot by Ohio police
Exclusive: UK approved £7m Israeli arms sales in six months before Gaza conflict
£35000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Required skills include SQL querying, SSRS, u...
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Ashdown Group: C#.Net Developer - C#, ASP.Net, HTML...
Negotiable: Argyll Scott International: Senior Business Analyst - Insurance ...
£25000 - £29000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This independent, growing Sales...