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Published on Sunday, 03 February 2013 20:10
Lower House Speaker Thura Shwe Mann replies queries raised by reporters in Nay Pyi Taw.(Photo-EMG)
Myanmar faces difficulty in democratisation as its organisations are still reluctant to accept checks and balances conducted by parliamentary bodies, Lower House Speaker Thura Shwe Mann said.
Shwe Mann was replying to reporters at his office in Nay Pyi Taw on January 31 after they had asked what criteria those organisations should have in ensuring a flourishing democracy in the country.
“Unlike the parliaments in democratically mature countries, Myanmar’s parliamentary committees have limited authority. We have difficulties in imposing checks and balances over government organisations and institutions because they are not willing to accept them,” Shwe Mann said.
He also said that the main requirements of democracy are patience, perseverance, honesty, mutual understanding, accountability and responsibility. He then called on not only parliamentarians but also the people to act bravely under democratic rule.
The speaker told the reporters that the people, media and executive and judicial bodies have the right to check the parliament if its MPs are not serving the public interest. Unless the whole parliament acts in accord with the existing laws, concerned organisations can point out that and lodge complaints as necessary.
South Korea has 300 parliamentarians and 3,000 staff members and many experts in parliament while the US Congress has experts in respective fields. But in Myanmar the MPs have to draw budgets and plans by themselves.
The parliament office will be extended depending on the financial situation, he added.
As the parliament has a legislative duty, the matter of legislation is to be decided by the MPs. Law experts on their part can give their advice. If they want to touch on legislation, they must try to become parliamentarians, Thura Shwe Mann said.