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Politics

Myanmar's legislative agenda slowed by parliamentary schedule

Legislature held hostage by an unclear timetable

| Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos
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Members of parliament eat lunch during a farewell ceremony for them after attending the last day of the Union Parliament session in Naypyitaw on Jan. 29.   © Reuters

A key element of Myanmar's emergence from decades of military rule has been the need for new or revised legislation. Yet, sessions of Myanmar's national Union parliament have been interrupted at least four times since April 1 last year by holidays and by-election campaigning that have delayed debates over crucial legislation.

Bills that have been affected include the companies law, that would set important rules for both foreign and domestic investors in the country. Another delayed bill would regulate the presence and activities of foreigners in Myanmar. There is also one on women's rights, along with pressing debates on repressive legal clauses in current laws that have been increasingly enforced under the current government.

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