Myanmar ends parliament with a party

Media captionFriday marked the end of the outgoing Myanmar parliamentary term and it was celebrated with a party

Myanmar’s politicians have seen out the final session of their parliament – and with it the end of decades of military-only rule – with karaoke and dancing.

A de-mob happy atmosphere filled the austere building as normally strait-laced politicians enjoyed the last hours with singing and laughter.

Most are not returning; from Monday they will be replaced by MPs elected in November’s historic polls.

Aug San Suu Kyi thanked her opponents for “opening the road” for her party.

“I believe we can all co-operate for our country and people, whether it is outside or inside the parliament,” the pro-democracy leader said in her address to parliament.

Fun is not a word normally associated with the parliament in Nay Pyi Taw, which until now has been dominated by stern men from military backgrounds, reports the BBC’s Jonah Fisher.

But the last few hours of the parliament’s five-year term felt like the last day of school, he says.

MPs took to the stage to belt out farewell songs; outgoing parliament speaker Shwe Mann urged the audience to join him as he sang “dreams may come true”, the AFP news agency reports.

From Monday, Ms Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy will control parliament, although a quarter of the seats as well as key government ministries remain in the hands of the military.

One of the new parliament’s first jobs will be to choose a president to replace Thein Sein who steps down at the end of March.

Ms Suu Kyi, who spent 15 years under house arrest by the army, is constitutionally barred from standing because her sons are British not Burmese.

But there is speculation that a deal may have been done with the military to allow her to take the job, our correspondent notes.


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