Myanmar’s Aung San Suu Kyi Sets up Team to Review MPs’ Motions

2016-03-03
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Aung San Suu Kyi (C), chairwoman of Myanmar's National League for Democracy party, attends the new lower house parliamentary session in Naypyidaw, Feb. 1, 2016.
Aung San Suu Kyi (C), chairwoman of Myanmar's National League for Democracy party, attends the new lower house parliamentary session in Naypyidaw, Feb. 1, 2016.
AFP

Myanmar’s National League for Democracy (NLD) party has set up new team to scrutinize questions and motions from its lawmakers before they introduce them in parliament to determine whether they should be submitted, an NLD legislator said Thursday.

NLD chairwoman Aung San Suu Kyi on Tuesday asked the MPs to submit their proposals to their committees in advance, according to party rules, and seek permission from the NLD on party policy-related questions to ensure there are no deviations.

“As most MPs are new, they want to submit proposals,” said Khin San Hlaing, an NLD lawmaker who is a member of the team. “Because we were worried about not wasting parliament’s time, we formed this team to review their proposals.”

Other team members include NLD legislators Aung Kyi Nyunt, Tin Tin Ye and Khin Maung Win.

The move came about after NLD lawmaker Khin San Hlaing submitted an urgent proposal last week, requesting that the central government review a spate of hasty sell-offs of state assets.

Information Minister Ye Htut opposed the request, calling it an accusation and defended the actions of the current government ministries.

The NLD now dominates parliament with 390 lawmakers, following its landslide victory in last November’s general elections.

The NLD also is requiring its MPs to take English placement tests and courses, while lawmakers from other political parties have the option of doing so.

“We are taking on capacity-building courses [in English] because then we can send our MPs abroad without translators if they are invited or if we need to send them for something else,” NLD lawmaker Zaw Myint Maung told RFA’s Myanmar Service on Thursday.

Chief ministers

Also on Thursday, senior NLD member Win Htein, said the party would appoint its members as chief ministers of the country’s 14 states and regions, according to local media reports.

But Sai Late, spokesman and general secretary of the Shan Nationalities League for Democracy (SNLD) told a meeting of Shan organization on Thursday in the commercial capital Yangon that more ethnic minority MPs should be included in state government cabinets.

“The NLD has said it will appoint all chief ministers in states and divisions from within the NLD,” he said at the meeting, which included representatives from the Restoration Council of Shan State/Shan State Army, Shan State Progressive Party and Shan Youth Network.

"It is according to law and it should be, but the NLD should include ethnic MPs as cabinet ministers," he said.

The meeting participants also discussed recent fighting between armed ethnic groups in northern Myanmar’s Shan state, he said.

Reported by Wai Mar Tun, Khin Khin Ei and Zarni Tun of RFA’s Myanmar Service. Translated by Khet Mar. Written in English by Roseanne Gerin.

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