Myanmar’s new military-dominated parliament on Friday unanimously approved all of the president-elect’s 30 Cabinet nominees.
Upper house lawmaker Phone Myint Aung said all of the names submitted by President-elect Thein Sein were approved, although the list did not indicate which position each would take in the Cabinet.
Thein Sein, who was elected president by parliament last week, was prime minister and a top member of the military junta that is handing over power to the new government. It is not clear when he and his Cabinet will be sworn in.
Most of the Cabinet appointees are former military officers who retired in order to run in last November’s elections — the country’s first in 20 years — and about a dozen were ministers in the junta’s Cabinet. Only four of the appointees are strictly civilian.
Critics say last year’s elections were orchestrated by the junta to perpetuate military rule. With one quarter of the seats in parliament filled by military appointees, and a large majority of the remaining seats won by a military-backed party, the army retains power.
The army has held power in Myanmar since 1962. Senior Gen. Than Shwe, the junta chief, is widely believed to remain in charge despite the change of government.
The party of Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, which won the last elections in 1990 but was blocked from taking power by the military, boycotted November’s vote, calling it unfair. Much of the international community also dismissed the elections as rigged in favor of the junta.
Thein Sein, 65, now heads the military-backed Union Solidarity and Development Party, which won most of the seats in the elections. He has an image as a “clean” soldier who is not engaged in corruption.