Burma’s new parliament to convene in February

Burma’s new parliament to convene in February

The speaker of Burma’s union parliament has confirmed that Burma’s second legislature will convene at the beginning of February – as the nation waits for the National League for Democracy (NLD) to take the reins of government.

The announcement, signed by the incumbent speaker Shwe Mann on 6 December, read that the newly elected lawmakers would begin the first session at 10am on 1 February. The new MPs have been instructed to register at the parliamentary office between 25 and 26 of January.

After a landslide election victory for the Aung San Suu Kyi-led NLD in November 2015, 348 NLD members will take their seats in the bicameral parliament.

Pe Than, a current lower house MP from Myebon Township, Arakan State, expressed hope that the new legislature will be more effective than its predecessor. The previous parliament was the first established under Burma’s current constitution, which was enacted in 2008.

“The first parliament was somewhat clueless as that was our first experience with the multi-party democracy system, and a change from the military dictatorship. The lawmakers in the new parliament have already seen what a parliament does and know how the legislature should function,” Pe Than said.

“As they have had a lot of communication with the current MP’s and the parliament as a whole, I don’t necessarily think they will be so green.”

After the first meeting of parliament, the new government will be formally installed on 1 April.

Electoral colleges will be established to pick Burma’s president, who will then establish a cabinet.

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Despite a constitutional clause barring Suu Kyi from the top job, the NLD leader has stated her role will be above the president and that she will have the final say in all party matters despite her official title, which is yet to be decided.

 

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