Myanmar prepares for first parliament in years

Myanmar is preparing to open its first session of parliament in more than two decades.

Written by Agencies | Yangon | Published:January 30, 2011 10:30 am

Myanmar is preparing to open its first session of parliament in more than two decades,a major step in the ruling military’s self-styled transition to democracy but one being carried out with little fanfare or public enthusiasm.

Delegates are gathering for Monday morning’s simultaneous opening of the 440-seat lower house and 224-seat upper house in a massive new building in Naypyitaw,the remote city to which the capital was moved from Yangon in 2005.

One-quarter of the seats in each chamber are given under the 2008 constitution to the military,supporting criticism that the so-called roadmap to democracy is a fig leaf for continued rule by the army. The army has pulled the strings since a 1962 coup ended the last legitimate parliamentary democracy.

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