Pyidaungsu Hluttaw approves forming a Joint Committee to Implement Steps to Amend Constitution while bill to amend the Constitution for the second time accepted

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Pyidaungsu Hluttaw Speaker U T Khun Myat. Photo: MNA

The eighth-day meeting of the eleventh regular session of the Second Pyidaungsu Hluttaw was held at the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw meeting hall in Nay Pyi Taw yesterday morning.
At the meeting Pyidaungsu Hluttaw approves the forming of a Joint Committee to Implement Steps to Amend Constitution, a bill to amend the Constitution for the second time accepted, reports on bills read, approved the Joint Public Accounts Committee report 3/2019, signing the Instrument of Ratification on an agreement related to ASEAN Framework Agreement on the Facilitation of Goods in Transit and sending it to ASEAN Secretariat.

Hluttaw approves forming a Joint Committee to Implement Steps to Amend Constitution
Pyidaungsu Hluttaw Deputy Speaker U Tun Tun Hein first explained about works conducted on forming a Joint Committee to Implement Steps to Amend Constitution.
During the first Pyidaungsu Hluttaw term a joint committee formed with 109 members to study the Constitution was too big while an implementation committee to amend the Constitution was formed with 31 members was too small causing delays in its work and took more than 22 months to conduct its job said the Deputy Speaker.
The joint committee will be formed with 45 members and meetings were held with representatives of 14 political parties in the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw, responsible persons from Tatmadaw Hluttaw representatives, Pyidaungsu Hluttaw Speaker and Amyotha Hluttaw Speaker toward forming of this joint committee. Pyidaungsu Hluttaw Office had informed by letters to the meeting attendees to submit group wise member lists to be included in the joint committee to the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw Speaker by 4 p.m. 14 February 2019.
When the 45 member joint committee is formed Deputy Speaker is assigned as the joint committee Chairman as per his official position and therefore Deputy Speaker will not be considered as representing Pyithu Hluttaw. In the joint committee there’ll be 22 members from Pyithu Hluttaw, Amyotha Hluttaw Deputy Speaker who’ll be the Deputy Chairman of the joint committee as per his official position and 21 members from Amyotha Hluttaw totaling 44.
In the Second Pyidaungsu Hluttaw there were 486 Hluttaw representatives from 14 political parties, 5 independents and 166 Tatmadaw representatives making up a total of 657.
Political parties with more than 10 representatives and Tatmadaw representatives will be included in the joint committee proportionately. For political parties with 1 to 5 representatives, there’ll be one representative from each party in the joint committee so that all parties are represented in the joint committee and participate in the process of drafting a bill to amend the Constitution.
Of the 44 members to be selected for the joint committee, 10 will be provided by 10 political parties that had between one to five Pyidaungsu Hluttaw representatives. One will be representing the five independents. Including the Amyotha Hluttaw Deputy Speaker who’ll be in the joint committee due to his position, there remain 32 members of the joint committee to be filled.
These 32 members will be proportionally allocated to political parties with more than 10 representatives in the Hluttaw and the Tatmadaw representatives. As there were decimal numbers when proportion was calculated, there remains one member to be filled and this will be from Shan Nationalities League for Democracy (SNLD). Therefore, SNLD will have two members in the joint committee. As Amyotha Hluttaw Deputy Speaker (from Arakan National Party) is in the joint committee due to his position, Arakan National Party (ANP) nominated one member each from its Pyithu Hluttaw and Amyotha Hluttaw representatives as members of the joint committee. Due to this National League for Democracy (NLD) that was allocated 19 members proportionately is instead nominating 18 members for the joint committee.
As it is a joint committee, parties that have the right to propose more than one member and Tatmadaw representatives will have an equal number of joint committee members from Pyithu Hluttaw and Amyotha Hluttaw.
Amyotha Hluttaw representative Dr. Myat Nyana Soe of Yangon Region constituency 3 and Pyithu Hluttaw representative U Htay Win Aung @ U Pyone Cho of Dawbon constituency were being assigned as joint committee secretary and join secretary respectively.
The joint committee has five aims, 14 duties, 6 mandates, 4 procedures and 4 rights and the term of the joint committee will start from the formation of the joint committee and include submission of a report, Pyidaungsu Hluttaw representatives discussing the report, obtaining the decision of the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw and ends when a bill to amend the Constitution is drafted for submission to the Hluttaw.
Once Hluttaw’s approval of the report is obtained after discussion, the joint committee is to prepare a draft bill to amend the Constitution based on the approval of the Hluttaw. The joint committee will prepare a draft bill to amend the Constitution without violating the Constitution, Pyidaungsu Hluttaw law, rules and procedures. The joint committee will strive toward the drawing up a draft bill to amend the Constitution and will not work for any party or group and all are urged to participate in this explained the Deputy Speaker.
At the moment NLD nominated 18 members, ANP nominated two members, SNLD nominated two members, Ta’Ang (Palaung) National Party, Zomi Congress for Democracy, Pa-O National Organisation, Lisu National Development Party (cross-bow party), Kachin State Democracy Party, Kokang Democracy and Unity Party, National Unity Party, Mon National Party, Wa Democratic Party and National United Democratic Party nominated one member each and one member representing the independents was nominated to the joint committee.
Union Solidarity and Development Party and Tatmadaw Hluttaw representatives hadn’t sent its member list for the joint committee and thus names were not included in the draft announcement which had been distributed to the Hluttaw representatives said the Deputy Speaker.
When the Hluttaw voted on the matter, there were 389 for, 192 against and 3 abstaining and Pyidaungsu Hluttaw Speaker U T Khun Myat announced the Hluttaw’s approval to form a Joint Committee to Implement Steps to Amend Constitution. Pyidaungsu Hluttaw announced further that an order to form the Joint Committee will be published once the full list of nominated members is obtained.

Bill to amend the Constitution for the second time
Next an announcement was made of Pyidaungsu Hluttaw receiving on 11 February 2019 a bill to amend the Constitution for the second time signed and submitted by U Thein Tun of Kyaunggon constituency and 143 Pyidaungsu Hluttaw representatives. As the 143 Pyidaungsu Hluttaw representatives consisting of 38 elected Hluttaw representatives and 105 Tatmadaw Hluttaw representatives which is more than 20 percent of the total 657 Hluttaw representatives, it will be discussed in the Hluttaw according to Pyidaungsu Hluttaw Rule section 133. And as per Pyidaungsu Hluttaw Rule section 135 a Joint Committee to Study the Bill to amend the Constitution for the second time was formed with all committee members of Pyithu Hluttaw and Amyotha Hluttaw Bill Committees with Pyidaungsu Hluttaw Office Notification 14/2019 on 19 February 2019.
An announcement was made that the notification and a copy of the draft bill had been distributed to the Hluttaw representatives.

Joint Bill Committee reports read
Following this reports of Pyidaungsu Hluttaw Joint Bill Committee on Literary and Artistic Copyrights Bill and 2018 Gambling Bill were read by joint bill committee members and Pyidaungsu Hluttaw Speaker announced for Hluttaw representatives who want to discuss the bills to register their names.

Joint Public Accounts Committee report 3/2019
Union Auditor General U Maw Than and Pyidaungsu Hluttaw Development Works Central Committee secretary U Khin Maung Than explained about Joint Public Accounts Committee report 3/2019 and responded to discussions made by the Hluttaw representatives.
Pyidaungsu Hluttaw Joint Bill Committee Deputy Chairman U Saw Than Htut then tabled a motion for the Hluttaw to agree and accept the report 3/2019.
After Pyidaungsu Hluttaw Speaker obtained the unanimous decision of the Hluttaw an announcement was made of the Hluttaw agreeing and accepting the report 3/2019.

Hluttaw agree on Instrument of Ratification on an agreement related to ASEAN Framework Agreement of Facilitation of Goods in Transit
After Dr. Thet Thet Khaing of Dagon constituency, Daw Nwe Nwe Aung of Mon State constituency 2, Dr. Tin Tin Win of Bago Region constituency 5, U Thant Zin Htun of Dekhinathiri constituency and U Sein Bo of Myawady constitutency discussed the matter of signing the Instrument of Ratification on an agreement related to ASEAN Framework Agreement on the Facilitation of Goods in Transit and sending it to ASEAN Secretariat and Deputy Minister for Planning and Finance U Maung Maung Win provided explanations on the discussions made by the Hluttaw representatives, Hluttaw approved the matter and an announcement made accordingly. The ninth day meeting of the 11th regular session of the Second Pyidaungsu Hluttaw will be held on 21 February.

By Aung Maw, Aye Aye Thant (MNA)

—Trs: Zaw Min

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