Burma

Complaints Filed Against Nearly 150 NLD Lawmakers in Parliament’s First Year

By Htun Htun 23 February 2017

RANGOON — The ruling National League for Democracy (NLD) has received complaints against around 150 lawmakers in the first year of the new Parliament, according to the party’s section which handles such complaints.

“We received complaints against nearly 150 lawmakers. We have been investigating and have given serious warnings to some lawmakers,” Dr. Myo Nyunt, chairman of the complaint section, told The Irrawaddy.

Most of the complaints previously resulted from the strained relations between lawmakers and the NLD’s central executive committee members, he said. Yet most of the current complaints are related to the management of the 100 million kyat regional development funds, the chairman added.

In March 2014, the Union Parliament approved a development fund bill that would allot 100 million kyats (US$102,000) to each of Burma’s 330 townships annually.

“There were complaints about lawmakers’ embezzlement of funds. But, no complainant has so far been able to prove them,” he said.

He said there were also complaints against parliamentary speakers, deputy speakers and ministers.

“But when we questioned the complainants, we found contradictions in their allegations. So, we don’t even need to question the defendants,” he said.

In one high-profile case, Mon State chief minister U Min Min Oo resigned from his position as well as from the party on Saturday, following a scandal over alleged corruption and his performance. Meanwhile, the NLD is also conducting an internal investigation into Tenasserim Division parliamentary speaker U Khin Maung Aye, and his deputy.

In November 2016, the NLD dismissed five of its lawmakers from their parliamentary committee posts, citing misconduct.

Most of the current complaints are against lawmakers in Rangoon, Irrawaddy, Pegu and Magwe divisions. There were fewer complaints against lawmakers in Burma’s ethnic states.

“Maybe it is because constituents [in those areas] have difficulties filing complaints,” Dr. Myo Nyunt speculated.

The NLD has also formed a committee to assess the performance and actions of lawmakers and to submit the individual assessment reports to the party’s chief executive committee, said Dr. Myo Nyunt.

However, the issue is classified as an intra-party affair and therefore information will not be made public, he added.

NLD candidates will contest for 18 of 19 vacant parliamentary seats in the upcoming by-election.

Translated from Burmese by Thet Ko Ko

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