30 Jan '11, 4am

Myanmar prepares for first parliament in years: YANGON (Myanmar) - MYANMAR is preparing to open its first sessio...

YANGON (Myanmar) - 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. -- AP

Full article: http://www.straitstimes.com/BreakingNews/SEAsia/Story/STI...

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