Monday, 20 January 2020

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Burmese military MPs re-nominated to Parliament

(Mizzima) – The Burmese government has re-nominated some 59 new military representatives to Parliament under the authority of the Union Election Commission. The Parliament reconvened on Monday.
Government-appointed members of the Burmese Parliament, left foreground, represent 25 per cent of the voting members of the lawmaking body, giving the government a guaranteed majority. Photo: Mizzima
Of the 59 new military representatives, who were not elected by the public, 39 are in the House of Representatives (Lower House) and 20 in the House of Nationalities (Upper House), according to an article in the official state-run New Light of Myanmar newspaper on Monday.

The government-appointed military representatives guarantee that the sitting government controls a majority of votes in the legislative body.

In a related issue, the National League for Democracy (NLD) said Sunday it would not allow its newly elected members to take the oath of office on Monday, citing its disagreement with the wording of the oath involving the word to “protect” the Constitution. It wants the oath’s wording changed to “respect.”

At issue is the NLD’s campaign pledge to work to change various sections of the Constitution, which it says is not democratic, in particular the government appointment of 25 per cent of MPs from the military.

The third session of Parliament reconvened in Naypyitaw to continue discussion on current legislation and other matters. The parliament session is also the first after the April 1 by- elections.

Parliament members representing the military in both houses account for 25 percent of the total number of MPs.

In the current Parliament, of the total parliamentary seats, the ruling Union Solidarity and Development Party holds nearly 60 percent, and the military 25 per cent.

In the April 1 by-elections, the National League for Democracy led by Aung San Suu Kyi won 43 seats of the 45 open seats at three levels of Parliament – 37 in the House of Representatives, four in the House of Nationalities and two in region or state parliaments.

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