CRPH expected to announce interim cabinet lineup on Friday

The Committee Representing Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (CRPH), a body formed by elected lawmakers from Myanmar’s ousted civilian government, will announce its lineup of new members to its interim cabinet on Friday, a committee member has told Myanmar Now.

The committee consists mainly of MPs from the National League for Democracy (NLD) who were elected in the 2020 general election but were unable to take their seats due to the February 1 coup.

The interim cabinet, which was formed with the agreement of ethnic armed organisations (EAOs) and will include ethnic ministers, will be in accordance with the political roadmap outlined in the Federal Democracy Charter, said the CRPH member, who spoke to Myanmar Now on condition of anonymity.

The Federal Democracy Charter was published by the CRPH on March 31, the same day it announced that it had abolished the military-drafted 2008 Constitution.

The two-part charter lays out a plan to form an “interim national unity government” whose duties will be, among other things, to “weaken the governance mechanisms” of the regime, support the Civil Disobedience Movement (CDM), and make arrangements for “national defense”. 

According to the political roadmap described in the first part of the charter, legislative and judicial bodies will be formed after the formation of a national unity government. The charter also includes plans to establish a national convention to draft a new constitution, which will be approved only after a national referendum is held.

The charter states that the national unity government will govern under the parliamentary system and will include a prime minister, president, state counsellor and two vice-presidents.

Zaw Wai Soe, who currently holds three cabinet positions (labour, immigration, and population; education; and health and sports), is tipped to become prime minister. An orthopaedic surgeon, he was the rector of the University of Medicine (1) in Yangon before being appointed by the CRPH after the coup.

He was one of the first prominent figures to refuse to serve under the coup regime and join the CDM, which aims to topple the regime of military commander-in-chief Senior General Min Aung Hlaing.

According to sources close to the CRPH, the interim cabinet members will also include NLD central executive member Aung Kyi Nyunt and Naw Hla Hla Soe, the elected Karen ethnic affairs minister for Yangon region.

None of the individuals named as possible cabinet ministers could be reached for comment at the time of reporting.

The interim cabinet was formed following a series of meetings between current CRPH members and the leaders of several different EAOs and ethnic political parties, held after the former NLD administration officially expired on March 31.

CRPH spokesperson Yee Mon, who is also known as Maung Tin Thit, told Myanmar Now on March 30 that the interim cabinet members would have to serve under unusual circumstances due to the post-coup situation in the country.

“As everyone knows, this cabinet will be a government formed under a state of war – an anti-dictatorship war – and I can say that it will emerge as a revolutionary government,” he said at the time.

Meanwhile, the Peace Process Steering Team (PPST), consisting of the 10 EAOs that have signed the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement, released a statement on April 4 saying it welcomed the declaration of the Federal Democracy Charter.

The PPST suspended all political dialogue with the military on February 20 in response to the coup. 

Under the charter, there are also plans to establish a National Unity Consultative Council (NUCC) to coordinate cooperation among federal democracy forces. The NUCC will include representatives of the CRPH, political parties, EAOs, civil society groups and CDM groups.

Min Ko Naing, a prominent leader of the 1988 pro-democracy uprising, is tipped to become chair of the NUCC, according to sources close to the CRPH. However, Myanmar Now has been unable to verify this information.

The 20-page Federal Democracy Charter is based on an interim constitution drafted between 1990 and 2008 by NLD lawmakers elected in 1990 and ethnic armed forces in a border area. However, this is the first time it has been unveiled to the public.    

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