Parliament scraps Shwe Mann’s commission after he forms new party

MPs have voted to scrap a powerful commission chaired by Thura U Shwe Mann following his decision to form his own political party.

The 12-month term of the Legal Affairs and Special Cases Assessment Commission ended today, but instead of voting to renew it as they have done since its formation in 2016, MPs resoundingly voted to let it expire.

Just 20 were in favour of keeping the commission, while 555 were against it and 10 abstained.

The Special Commission, as it was known, had the power to propose amending and scrapping laws to Union Parliament, and to suggest new ones.  

It was created after the NLD took office in 2016 so that Shwe Mann, who was seen as a key intermediary between Aung San Suu Kyi and the military, could maintain a senior role in politics.

While military MPs who make up a quarter of parliamentary seats have always opposed the commission, the NLD has until now used its supermajority to keep it alive.

Earlier this month Shwe Mann, who was ousted as leader of the USDP in 2015, founded the Union Betterment Party.

U Aung Kyi Nyunt, an NLD MP, said this is the reason the party voted against the commission’s extension, adding that 12 members of the new party were also commission members.  

“It is not appropriate to give advice on parliament’s legal issues when the commission has links to a political party,” he told reporters.

He added that the party did not object to the commission on principle, but simply did not want to extend its term.

Brigadier General U Maung Maung, a military MP,  said the commission was “against the law” and the NLD has abolished it because they “don’t need it anymore.”  

Shwe Mann said his views and positions will not change even though he is no longer on the commission.

“Things like this can happen sometimes,” he told reporters. “Politics… is subtle and, sometimes, full of twists. That’s why I regard this as a normal thing,” he said.

Related Articles

Back to top button