Myanmar’s newly-elected parliament starts first session

Nay Pyi Taw, Feb 1 (IANS) The first session of Myanmar’s newly-elected parliament opened on Monday in capital Nay Pyi Taw, two days after the expiry of its previous term, media reports said.

For the first time in over 50 years, parliament members will comprise mainly democratically elected representatives who won their seats in the November 2015 general election.

The new parliament elected U Win Myint of the ruling National League for Democracy (NLD) party as Speaker of the House of Representatives (Lower House) and U Ti Khun Myat of the Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) as Deputy Speaker of the House, Xinhua news agency reported.

Eighty per cent of elected seats in the new parliament will be made up of NLD party MPs.

The NLD won the elections by a landslide, capturing 390 national parliamentary seats out of 664.

The country’s Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP), which had previously controlled the parliament, only won 42 seats.

Under the constitution, army-appointed representatives hold 25 percent of the seats in parliament.

Speaking at the session after being sworn in, U Win Myint said the day was an honourable day for democratic transition in the political history of Myanmar, vowing to strive for gaining basic human rights for the people of the country.

The summon for the first session of the new parliament came nearly three months after the end of the general election on Nov. 8, 2015, in which NLD led by Aung San Suu Kyi won the absolute majority of the parliamentary seats.

Attending the session, were a total of 430 MPs to the House of Representatives dominated by the NLD.

The first session of the newly elected House of Nationalities (Upper House) is scheduled to start on Wednesday and will be followed by the first session of the Region or State Parliaments next week.

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