Warning that “winning an election alone does not bring democracy”, one of the signatories of the nationwide ceasefire agreement signed by eight ethnic armed groups last year has nevertheless expressed confidence in Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s ability to promote the peace process.
The normally quiet official guesthouse in Nay Pyi Taw was bustling this week as newly elected members of parliament arrived while incumbent delegates busied themselves packing their belongings to depart.
A last-minute proposal by President U Thein Sein to bring the Ministry of Immigration under the wing of the military-controlled Ministry of Home Affairs ran into opposition yesterday from the National League for Democracy, which says the merger would deprive the party of a key post in the next government.
The outgoing government’s last-ditch attempt last week to make good on pledges to release all political prisoners fell well short of the aim, according to international rights groups.
In a year of disastrous floods, the Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation accounted for more than 62 percent of total emergency expenditure, parliament heard yesterday. Yet barely over one-tenth of the K100 billion emergency fund under the president’s control was utilised.
Parliament has passed the K23.62 trillion (US$18.28 billion) budget for the 2016-17 financial year starting in March. In effect, this means that defeated members of the Union Solidarity and Development Party government have bequeathed spending patterns and constraints to the incoming government elected last November.
As the military MPs selected to serve in the incoming parliament are confirmed, attention is turning to how they will interact with the majority National League for Democracy members elected last November.