Back to School for NLD’s Lawmakers-To-Be

A National League for Democracy program to build capacity among its MPs-elect will be complemented by United Nations training for all members of the new parliament after it convenes next month.

The purpose of the training is to ensure that all MPs-elect have a base level of knowledge. Once the basic training is completed, the party will provide more specialised guidance. Those who have been appointed to ministerial positions, for example, will receive training specific to their portfolio.

Although it is illegal for international organisations to directly support a political party, they can provide independent training. An example of such a provider is the Richardson Center for Global Engagement, a non-profit organisation in the United States founded by former politician Bill Richardson.

Before the election, the centre provided communications training for candidates from all political parties. “One of greatest challenges was that a lot of the candidates, from across all parties, didn’t necessarily know what their own personal politics were,” Mindy Walker, a consultant at the centre, told Frontier.

“When asked what they thought were the most important issues, they would usually say the constitution or minority rights,” said Ms Walker. “What they found out when they went door-to-door was that a lot of people cared most about issues like a lack of jobs, the local economy or infrastructure, such as the road systems,” she said. “It was a big shock for a lot of them when they realised that the public weren’t responding in the way they thought they would.”

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