Suu Kyi sends MPs to Parliament school

Yangon, December 17

Aung San Suu Kyi is sending her newly-elected MPs on a crash course on Myanmar’s Parliament as they prepare to take their seats for the first time early next year, her party said today.

The veteran campaigner’s National League for Democracy party won a thunderous majority in landmark November polls that are set to tip the balance of power away from the military for the first time in decades.

Some 390 NLD MPs will flood into parliament in February, mostly political newcomers with no experience of the Naypyidaw legislature, which itself has only been in operation since a quasi-civilian regime replaced military rule in 2011.

“The new MPs do know about politics but they need to learn more about the Parliament,” party spokesman Win Htein told AFP. He said a series of classes would teach the budding politicians about the operations of the legislature as well other key topics like the country’s controversial army-drafted constitution to help “improve their performance” as MPs.

The tutorials will be held in batches in Naypyidaw and later in Yangon in the coming weeks as the NLD prepares for its historic new role after a quarter century of opposition to military rule.

Suu Kyi and her party will face a slew of challenges when they take the helm, building on the reforms of recent years to revive Myanmar’s fortunes after nearly half a century of isolation and mismanagement under the former junta.

They will also have to work with the military, which continues to hold a quarter of parliament seats and control over key ministries. But NLD MPs hoping to hear educational pearls of wisdom from Suu Kyi herself will be disappointed.

“She has not got time to teach the class,” Win Htein said.