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Burmese Parliament reconvenes


After a two-month recess, the 4th session of the Burmese Parliament in Naypitaw convened on Wednesday with one bill on university education submitted.

Aung San Suu Kyi, chairwoman of the National League for Democracy (NLD), delayed her debut in the lawmaking body until Monday, saying she needed time to rest and had other work to do after the 17-day trip to Europe. She returned to Burma on Sunday. Thirty-six newly elected NLD Members of Parliament attended the session.
Members of the Burmese Parliament attend the opening of the Lower House session in Naypyitaw on Wednesday, July 4, 2012. The issue of sectarian unrest in Rakhine State is expected to be raised and discussed. Photo: AFPPresident Thein Sein has promised a second wave of economic reforms, calling for the passage of a law to regulate the overseas investors eager to snap up the country’s natural resources and other business opportunities. Lawmakers are also expected to debate bills on a minimum wage, corruption and media censorship during the current parliamentary session, which is expected to last until September.

In the House of Representatives (Lower House) 417 members out of 431 attended. Lower House Speaker Shwe Mann stressed the key role of the MPs as the government attempts to put in place a wide range of new legislation designed to pave the way for successful foreign investment and economic development.

Major legislation to be debated this session includes a media reform law designed to eliminate pre-publication censorship and modernize media laws in line with democratic nations.

On the first day of the session, questions were raised on arrangements for the re-election of ward administrators and the renovation or dissolution of certain civil servant institutes.

In the April 1 by-elections, the NLD won 43 out of 45 open parliamentary seats, of which 37 are the House of Representatives and four in the Upper House (House of Nationalities); two seats are in region or state parliaments.

In a press conference on Tuesday, Suu Kyi said the NLD is ready to introduce several bills to be tabled in the current parliamentary session. The NLD will be a leading member of the opposition, but it has only a tiny fraction of seats in Parliament. The total number of opposition MPs number represent about 11 per cent of the joint body.

In the third session of Parliament, which lasted from Jan. 26 to May 2, a total of 11 bills were approved, including the Supplementary Union Budget Law, Union Budget Law, National Plan Bill, Labor Dispute Settlement Bill, Environmental Conservation Law, Election Commission Law, Foreign Currency Expenditure Bill and a Commodity and Service Bill.
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 04 July 2012 15:18 )  

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