Monday, 20 January 2020

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MPs informally discuss oath dispute

New Delhi, Rangoon (Mizzima) – Informal discussions about the oath of office standoff between the Burmese government and the National League for Democracy took place in Parliament on Tuesday.

NLD Parliament member-elect Dr. Myat Nyarna Soe. Photo: FacebookNo motion regarding the issue was put forward, and NLD-elected members failed to appear in Parliament to take the required oath of office.
There is a group of MPs who want to support the NLD on changing the oath’s wording, one lawmaker told Mizzima.

Sources said that a group of MPs are negotiating with MPs of the Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP), but the USDP – the government-backed party – had a hardline attitude, as of Monday.

Myat Nyarna Soe, an NLD MP-elect, told Mizzima that there could be a compromise on Wednesday.

On Monday, NLD spokesman Nyan Win told The Associated Press that he believed the dispute would be solved within 10 days.
Meanwhile, NLD officials are in contact with the government of President Thein Sein in an effort to change the oath of office wording from to “protect” the Constitution to “respect” the Constitution. NLD spokesmen have said they are optimistic a compromise can be reached with the help of the president’s office, but other observers have said the issue could require a parliamentary vote.
It takes 20 per cent of the members to put forward a bill in Parliament. To be approved, a bill requires the approval of 75 per cent of the members of Parliament.

Currently, the USDP holds 343 parliamentary seats; military representatives hold 166 seats and other political parties [including independent MPs] hold 105 seats.

The NLD’s victory in the April 1 by-election, in which it won 43 of the 44 seats it contested, was considered a major step toward reconciliation after decades of military rule in Burma, adding credibility to reforms carried out over the past year under President Thein Sein’s administration.

Thein Sein was expected to return to Burma on Tuesday from an official visit to Japan.

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