Myanmar: As state counsellor, Suu Kyi moves closer to bypassing constitutional ban

The newly created advisory position allows the 70-year-old leader a larger role across the government.

Myanmar democracy champion Aung San Suu Kyi, whose NLD party took power from the military junta earlier this week, moved a step closer to circumventing a constitutional ban on her assuming top executive powers.

The upper house of Myanmar parliament approved a bill seeking a "state counsellor" role for Suu Kyi, paving the way for her to assume a role similar to that of a prime minister.

The first piece of legislation in the new parliament became the subject of heated debate, with the military nominated members and the former ruling party USDP opposing the move.

However, the National League for Democracy (NLD), which holds an overwhelming majority in the parliament, steamrollered the opposition. The bill now be passed on to the lower house where it is expected to have a smooth sail.

The newly created advisory position allows the 70-year-old leader a larger role across the government, where she already holds the charge of four portfolios -- foreign affairs, president's office, education and energy.

"The object of the proposal from the bill committee in the upper house parliament is to fulfill the wishes and interests of people who voted on 8 November 2015," NLD lawmaker Aung Kyi Nyun told parliament, according to the Guardian.

Earlier this week, Htin Kyaw, a long-time Suu Kyi loyalist, was sworn in as the president of Myanmar, completing a historic transition from military rule to elected civilian administration.

Htin took over from outgoing semi-civilian ruler Thein Sein to become the first elected civilian leader in the country in more than 50 years.

The country's landmark transition from rule under military junta to elected democracy follows the crushing victory registered by Suu Kyi's NLD in parliamentary elections in November.

Though Suu Kyi's party won overwhelming majority in the parliament the constitution proscribed her from holding the top post as her sons hold British citizenship.