Myanmar's Ruling Party, NLD Form Committees to Transfer Government Duties

myanmar-yehtut-dec112015.jpg USDP Information Minister Ye Htut is shown in an undated photo.

In a new step forward in the country’s transition to democracy, Myanmar’s military-backed Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) and the National League for Democracy (NLD), which won a landslide victory in national polls Nov. 8,  have formed separate committees to manage the transfer of government duties, spokesmen for both parties said.

Following a ceremony next week marking the transfer of state power, the USDP committee, staffed by senior figures in the outgoing administration of President Thein Sein, will direct government officials to meet with their NLD counterparts to explain “how they have done their work,” USDP Information Minister and committee member Ye Htut told RFA's Myanmar Service.

“Our government ministries are also collecting lists and records of relevant properties such as land and buildings, accounts from this year’s budget, plans for the coming years, and projects we had considered for submission in future sessions of parliament,” he said.

“We still don’t know when the NLD will choose a president, when it will hold a new parliament, and when it will form its government,” Ye Htut said.

“We will transfer our duties to the NLD when it is ready,” he said.

'Too soon to say'

Also speaking to RFA, senior NLD official Win Htein confirmed the two committees will meet next week to discuss their transfer of duties.

“I assume they have already prepared the lists, records, and accounts to be transferred from the ministries, and after we receive them we will have to appoint new ministers,” he said.

Only ministers and deputy ministers will be changed, though, leaving lower-ranking government staff in their present jobs, he said.

"It is still too soon to say who the members of the new government will be," he said, adding that according to the terms of Myanmar's military-drafted constitution, a new government will have to be formed within three months of the November election.

"People will know when the right time comes," he said.

NLD leader Aung San Suu Kyi has called for “national reconciliation” talks in Myanmar following decades of brutal military rule, and observers are anxious to see how the country’s democratic transition will play out.

Though the NLD won a majority in parliament and will be able to select the country’s new president—Aung San Suu Kyi herself is barred from the post by a provision in Myanmar's constitution—military officers continue to hold 25 percent of the legislature’s seats through appointment, giving them veto power over all constitutional amendments.

Reported by Thinn Thiri for RFA’s Myanmar Service. Translated by Khin Moh Moh. Written in English by Richard Finney.

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