Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Lower House bill challenges Union Assembly Speaker’s actions

Wednesday, 02 November 2011 20:08 Myo Thant

Chiang Mai (Mizzima) – The Burmese Lower House on Tuesday passed a bill to prevent Union Assembly Speaker Khin Aung Myint from sending bills approved by the Parliament to the Constitutional Tribunal before sending them to President Thein Sein to sign. Lawmakers said his actions violated the Constitution.

The bill passed with no opposition, according to MPs.

Dr. Soe Yi, a member of the Parliament Rights Committee of the Lower House, submitted the bill “to appeal against and overturn Speaker Khin Aung Myint’s decision of sending bills approved or deemed to be approved by the Union Assembly to the Constitutional Tribunal before sending it to the President to sign.”

Upper House Speaker and Union Assembly Speaker Khin Aung Myint in Naypyitaw. Photo: Mizzima

Soe Yi’s bill cites Chapter 6 of the 2008 Constitution, which says that only when challenges arise after a law is enacted should the judgment of the Constitutional Tribunal be sought.

He also cited a Union Assembly Rule (106) that says: “The Union Assembly Speaker shall send the bills approved by the Union Assembly to the President.”

In response to the discussions on the bill, Lower House Speaker Thura Shwe Mann said: “Although the decision in the Union Assembly damages the reputation of the Parliament, the submission of the bill and discussions are assumed to restore the reputation of the State and Parliament,” according to the state-run newspaper New Light of Myanmar.

After the Lower House approved the bill, it was sent to the Upper House on the same day. The bill will be discussed in the Union Assembly [a joint parliamentary session of the Upper House and Lower House].

The bill was discussed and supported by Rakhine Nationalities Development Party MP Ba Shein of Kyaukpyu constituency; Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) MP Thein Swe of Ann constituency; Shan Nationalities Democratic Party MP Nan Wah Nu of Kunhing Constituency; and Unity and Democracy Party MP Dwe Bu of N’Jangyang constituency.

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