2017 by-elections to be improvement on 2015 general elections: UEC

The Union Election Commission (UEC)’s chairman Hla Thein said today that the commission will make every effort to ensure that the by-elections this year are better organised than the 2015 general elections.

Training for the sub-commission offices of the UEC started on January 23 in Nay Pyi Taw and the chairman delivered an opening speech, where he said the by-elections will free, fair, and in accordance with electoral standards.

Self-confidence needed for Myanmar’s peace process: Suu Kyi

State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi says  that more self-confidence is needed for those participating in Myanmar’s peace process.

Suu Kyi, who is also the chairperson of the National Reconciliation and Peace Centre (NRPC), met a delegation of the Peace Process Steering Team (PPST) of the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement-Signatories on Jan 23 in Nay Pyi Taw, according to the State Counsellor’s Office.

Legal Affairs and Special Issues Assessment Commission to observe Insein Prison

Members of Myanmar’s Legal Affairs and Special Issues Assessment Commission will inspect Yangon’s Insein Prison, says MP Yan Aung from Mingalar Taungnyunt Township. Yan Aung is also a member of the commission.

“We have a plan to inspect Insein Prison. But we will first consult with the government. We informed the Yangon Region government committee about our plans via the parliamentary speaker. We are going to monitor Insein Prison after monitoring the courts in Yangon Region,” said Yan Aung.

‘Ways will be found to proceed with peace talks if non-NCA groups allowed to attend’

Ways and means to proceed with national peace talks, if ethnic groups that have not signed the national ceasefire agreement are allowed to attend the next meeting of the 21st Century Panglong Conference, Thu Wai, vice-chairman of the Union Peace Dialogue Joint Committee (UPDJC), has said.
Some ethnic armed groups have not signed the National Ceasefire Agreement (NCA) yet, and if they don’t sign the agreement, they will be barred from attending the peace talks, Thu Wai said on Thursday. 

NLD forms panel to monitor the work of party MPs

The National League for Democracy has set up a committee to monitor and review the work of its Members of Parliament, the ruling party said on Thursday.
The team to scrutinise MPs’ work was formed after a decision to do this by the party’s central executive committee on January 7.
Win Htein, a member of the party’s central executive committee, will lead the panel. 

Political reforms and charter changes discussed in talks in Kayin state

Talks were held for a second day in Hpa-an in Kayin State on Thursday about political reforms and fundamental principles needed to amend the Constitution to set up a democratic federal Union.
Groups discussed papers on politics, the economy, farmland and natural resources. 
The main focus of talks on the political sector was eight points in regard to amending and drafting the Constitution to establish a democratic federal Union.