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Myanmar house to discuss proportional representation system

Posted on Jul 24 2014 | IANS

Yangon, July 24 : Myanmar's House of Representatives or lower house of parliament has decided to discuss application of proportional representation (PR) system to elect parliament representatives in the next general election in 2015, parliament sources said Thursday.

Despite objections by 42 members of parliament (MPs) including those representing the opposition party and a walk-out by 23 MPs representing some ethnic parties, the proposal for discussion was passed with a majority of 263 votes, mostly from the ruling Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP).

The army MPs showed no objection at the lower house although they had objected to the move at the upper house session earlier, Xinhua reported.

A total of 356 MPs with the Lower House out of 422 were present at the session, according to local media.

In its last session held in June, the House of Nationalities or upper house approved the proposal to adopt the PR system to elect parliament representatives to the upper house in the 2015 general election.

That bill, submitted by MPs representing the National Democratic Force (NDF) party to the Upper House, was passed 117-85 despite objections by MPs of the opposition, the army and some other ethnic parties, who stated that the system was complicated.

Although the country's parliament has formed a commission to implement the PR system and coordinate with the Union Election Commission (UEC) on the issue, the UEC declined to be present at the session this time, local media added.

Meanwhile, all five MPs of the main opposition National League for Democracy (NLD) have resigned from the 40-member Commission to Implement the PR System.

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