Myanmar’s ousted MPs form new shadow government

YANGON (AFP) – A ‘Parliament’ working in hiding to oust Myanmar’s junta from power announced a new shadow government yesterday, with deposed leader Aung San Suu Kyi at its helm alongside ethnic minority politicians.

The country has been in turmoil since the military detained Suu Kyi and seized power, triggering a massive uprising that the junta has sought to quell with lethal force.

Besides demanding for democracy’s return, protesters are also increasingly calling for more of a governing role for the country’s minority groups – which have long seen their voices marginalised by the ethnic Bamar majority.

The Committee Representing Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (CRPH) – a group of lawmakers mostly from Suu Kyi’s party attempting to govern underground via a shadow Parliament – yesterday announced its leaders.

Helming the so-called ‘National Unity Government’ (NUG) is Suu Kyi, in her position as State Counsellor, and President Win Myint – who is also under house arrest and facing a barrage of charges from the junta.

Police security forces stand by inside a police vehicle and on the sidewalk of Hledan Road in Kamayut township in Yangon, Myanmar. PHOTO: AP

They are flanked by a vice president who is ethnic Kachin and a prime minister who is ethnic Karen, said prominent democracy leader Min Ko Naing in an address on the CRPH’s official Facebook page.

“We have organised a government which has the largest number of ethnic minority groups,” he said.

A list of appointed ministers also included prominent leaders from the Chin, Shanni, Mon, Karenni and Ta’ang ethnic groups.

The politicians were chosen based on results from the 2020 election, input from a nationwide anti-coup protest movement, and ethnic minority groups – including armed rebels in the country’s border territories, said Min Ko Naing.

“We have to pull it from the root… we must try to eradicate it,” he said, as he raised the three-finger salute – the symbol of resistance.