Rangoon Parliament Resumes After Long Recess

By Kyaw Hsu Mon 28 September 2016

RANGOON — The Rangoon divisional parliament will begin its second session on Thursday after a three-and-a-half month break, lawmakers told The Irrawaddy.

After the National League for Democracy’s landslide victory in the November general election, the regional legislature’s first session began in February and finished in mid-June.

Daw Moe Moe Su Kyi, a lawmaker from Mayangone Township, said although Parliament had been closed for more than three months, some parliamentary committees continued working during that time to address urgent issues.

“We’ve been listening to the people during the recess. Some issues may have been delayed in reaching discussion in parliament but others have already been solved on the ground level,” she said.

Critics have said that the commercial capital faces a number of pressing issues and that the break has been excessive.

“Yangon is unlike other cities. There are many problems to solve—unfinished development projects, traffic congestion, high-rise construction issues and waste management. These issues are waiting,” said Daw Nyo Nyo Thin, a former lawmaker in Rangoon divisional parliament’s Bahan constituency.

“This is an early stage of a new administration. Parliament should not close for this long in Yangon,” she said.

U San Kyaw, a Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) lawmaker from Seikkan constituency, agreed that the closure was too long.

“The Constitution doesn’t say that parliament must open every month, but not being able to submit people’s issues for so long is not good. It delays work on the issues,” he said.

He expects that lawmakers will discuss traffic problems, road conditions, city expansion projects and increasing commodity prices in Rangoon during this legislative session.

Rangoon Chief Minister Phyo Min Thein posted on Facebook on Wednesday that his office was holding meetings to discuss the questions and answers for Thursday’s start of the parliamentary session.