Burma’s new parliaments will convene in January: USDP MP-elect

Burma’s parliaments will be convened with representatives elected in the 7 November election before the end of January, said an elected representative of a pro-military party.

Khin Shwe, owner of Zaykabar company who was elected to the national parliament from a constituency of Rangoon Region, disclosed the information to DVB after his party, the Union Solidarity and Development Party held two days of meeting in the country’s new capital Nay Pyi Taw, from 22 to 23 December.

“The People’s Parliament will be convened first around the middle of next month, then the National Parliament about seven days later, and lastly, the Union Parliament (joint session of the two), seven days following that,” said Khin Shwe.

He also said that representatives also discussed the restructuring and democratisation of the party as it was originally a “social” association which inherited both its strengths and shortcomings.

“The main issues that we discussed were about how we should behave when we become Members of Parliament and about the restructuring of the USDP,” he said. “Previously, township secretaries were appointed by the higher-ups, now they will be elected by blocs.”

But when asked about the possibility of cooperation between his party and the main opposition, the National League for Democracy led by Nobel Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, which boycotted the elections, Khin Shwe was less forthcoming.

“Policies regarding politics will be up to the leaders but for matters concerning economic development and other issues, there will be assignments which we will have to carry out. We, however, cannot talk about policies that are way beyond our reach.”

Having also expressed his enthusiasm for telling the truth about his party through media, Khin Shwe claimed that things will get better for Burma.

“What I want to say is that things will be much better than before,” he said. “It will be much better because decisions will be made by the majority instead of an individual. Primarily, we will have to work to raise the standard of living of the common people. We, economic entrepreneurs, are part of the system now and my promise to you is that things will be much better than before.”

Most powerful big companies in Burma are controlled or run by cronies and close relatives of top ruling generals.

The USDP, which won close to 80 percent of the votes in the November elections, marred by claims of frauds, intimidation and vote rigging, is believed to have millions of members, many of whom were leftovers from the party’s previous incarnation, the Union Solidarity and Development Association (USDA).

The NLD also won the 1990’s elections by a landslide, but was never allowed to rule by the military.

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