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Correction: Myanmar President Forms 30-member Cabinet

(Correction: Original article incorrectly identified Than Shwe as President.)

Myanmar's new President has formed a 30-member all-male Cabinet that consists of mostly retired military officers.

There are only four civilians on the list of Ministers announced by President Thein Sein on Wednesday.

The new Cabinet was primarily selected from the ranks of the Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP), the political arm of the military junta that won the November 7 general elections convincingly.

The Parliament, dominated by members of the ruling party, will vote on Friday to ratify the nominees, reports say.

The civilian ministerial nominees are Tin Sann of construction company ACE; Pyay Thet Tin, rector of the Yangon Institute of Medicine; Mya Aye, rector of the Mandalay Institute of Medicine and Win Myint, chairman of the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry, German news agency DPA reported.

A dozen of the proposed Ministers were reportedly Cabinet members of the outgoing junta.

New Ministries for the President's office and Industrial Development have been created under the elected government.

Nearly half-a-century-old military rule in Myanmar officially ended on January 31, when the newly-elected chambers of Parliament convened for the first time since the elections in November.

The parliament elected Thein Sein, who previously served as Prime Minister, as President on February 4.

Myanmar's Opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi was released after seven years' house detention on November 13, within hours of the USDP ensuring victory in the election in which both she and her party were denied participation.

Western countries condemned the conduct of the election. The U.S. has extended sanctions on the Myanmar junta and renewed a ban on all imports from the South-East Asian country.

Myanmar's Supreme Court rejected a petition by the 64-year-old democracy icon to restore legitimacy to the country's disbanded main opposition party, the National League for Democracy (NLD).

Under Myanmar's Constitution, one fourth of the Parliament membership has been reserved for the Army.

Together with the majority members of the ruling party, the new government can pass or veto any legislation in the Parliament that need not meet more than once an year.

It will bring Myanmar in line with the Communist Party-controlled Chinese political system, analysts say.

by RTT Staff Writer

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