Naypyidaw (Mizzima) – The first convening of the national and regional Parliaments in Burma took place on Monday including the first elected speakers of the lower and upper houses.
Thura Shwe Man, the military junta's former No. 3 man as joint chief of staff, was elected speaker of the Lower House, which has 440 members.
The next step is the election of three vice presidents on Tuesday, followed by the election of a president from among the vice presidents. The date for the election of the president is not clear.
Speculation is centering on Thein Sein, the prime minister and head of the Union Solidarity and Development Party, as the front runner to be elected president.
Nanda Kyaw Swar was elected vice speaker of the Lower House, according to an Arakanese member of parliament, Dr. Aye Maung.
Nanda Kyaw Swar is the son of Brigadier General Tin Pe, a member of the revolutionary council in 1962 led by the Ne Win government. Brig-Gen Tin Phe is best remembered as one of the the key architect’s of Ne Win’s state planned economy, regarded by most observers as a complete disaster.
Former Cultural minister Khin Aung Myint was elected speaker of the Upper House, which has 224 members. Mya Nyein, former director general of the Attorney General’s Office, was elected vice speaker.
Aye Maung told Mizzima that ethnic members of Parliament will try to elect an ethnic MP to a vice president position, but expect the motion to be defeated on Tuesday by votes cast by members of the Union Solidarity and Development Party, which, along with appointed military members of Parliament, controls more than 80 percent of the votes in Parliament.