Suu Kyi Makes Parliamentary Debut

By Nyein Nyein 9 July 2012

Lower House parliamentarian and chairman of Burma’s opposition party National League for Democracy (NLD) Aung San Suu Kyi attended the Parliament in Naypyidaw on Monday, her first appearance at a parliamentary session since she was sworn in two months ago.

The fourth parliamentary session began last week and included other NLD MPs who were elected in by-elections in April. However, Suu Kyi requested a three-day break citing a need to rest following a tour to Europe last month.

Her presence at session was welcomed by one of the Lower House’s military appointees, Brig-Gen Wai Lin, who told The Irrawaddy that “it is good that Daw Aung San Suu Kyi is now attending Parliament. We very much welcome her.”

But Wai Lin would not comment on whether the military delegates will be supportive of the bills which the NLD said it will propose.

Suu Kyi said that today was her first chance to observe the Parliament, and that neither she nor other NLD representatives would submit any bills or proposals yet.

Speaking to reporters during the lunch break, Suu Kyi responded to a question about the vice-presidential position which is due to be named on Tuesday. “The person who is appointed vice-president should be someone who will work for national reconciliation,” she said of the post vacated recently by Tin Aung Myint Oo.

MPs are required to submit proposed bills for discussion in advance of the meeting. Phyu Phyu Thin, the Lower House MP for Rangoon’s Mingalar Taung Nyunt constituency, said, “We NLD parliamentarians have not yet decided what to propose, but we will be meeting soon to decide.”

NLD leader Suu Kyi visited her constituency in Kawhmu last week, saying she wanted to assess her constituents’ needs before entering a parliamentary meeting. She then traveled to Naypyidaw on Sunday.

Suu Kyi won the April 1 by-election for Kawhmu constituency in Rangoon. She and her party’s 42 representatives were sworn in to Parliament on May 2 despite some controversy over the wording of the parliamentary oath.