VL.png The World-Wide Web Virtual Library
[WWW VL database || WWW VL search]
donations.gif asia-wwwvl.gif

Online Burma/Myanmar Library

Full-Text Search | Database Search | What's New | Alphabetical List of Subjects | Main Library | Reading Room | Burma Press Summary

Home > Main Library > Politics and Government > Burma/Myanmar's Legislature > Burma/Myanmar's Legislature - analysis and commentary

Order links by: Reverse Date Title

Burma/Myanmar's Legislature - analysis and commentary

Websites/Multiple Documents

Title: Euro-Burma Office/Associates to Develop Democratic Burma (ADDB)
Description/subject: EBO Political Monitors...Research papers: reports, statements and press releases...EBO Briefing Papers...News
Language: English
Source/publisher: Euro-Burma Office
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 02 February 2012


Title: MYANMAR Pyithu Hluttaw (House of Representatives)
Description/subject: General information; Electoral system; Last elections; Election archive; Full text.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Inter-Parliamentary Union
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 27 March 2012


Title: PARLIAMENT WATCH
Description/subject: PEOPLE’S ASSEMBLY * Overview * Sessions - 1st Session (Jan-Mar 2011) - 2nd Session (Aug-Nov 2011) - 3rd Session (Jan-May 2012) o Bills o MPs o Committees NATIONAL ASSEMBLY o Overview o Sessions - 1st Session (Jan-Mar 2011) - 2nd Session (Aug-Nov 2011) - 3d Session (Jan-May 2012) o Bills o MPs o Committees NATIONAL PARLIAMENT o Overview o Sessions - 1st Session (Jan-Mar 2011) - 2nd Session (Aug-Nov 2011) - 3rd Session (Jan-Apr 2012) o Bills o Committees DIVISION AND STATE PARLIAMENTS o Overview o Sessions - 1st Session (Jan-Mar 2011) - 1st Special Session (Jun-Jul 2011) - 2nd Session (Oct-Nov 2011) - 3rd Session (Feb-Mar 2012) - 3rd Special Session (Mar-Apr 2012) o Committees 2012 BY-ELECTIONS o By-elections special BACKGROUND o Political parties RELATED REPORTS Burma’s Parliament - A tool for institutionalized oppression 100 Days of Burmas Parliament - Strengthening the Status Quo Issues & Concerns Vol. 7 - Locked in, tied up: Burma’s disciplined democracy
Language: English
Source/publisher: ALTSEAN-Burma
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 09 June 2012


Title: REGIME WATCH
Description/subject: LEGISLATIVE has moved to "PARLIAMENT WATCH" at http://www.altsean.org/Research/Regime%20Watch/Home.php .... EXECUTIVE:- President; Advisory Board; Vice-Presidents; National Defense and Security Council; Cabinet; Financial Commission; Division and State Administrations... Military: Tatmadaw Regional Commanders..... JUDICIAL: Supreme Court; Constitutional Tribunal; Election Commission... Anatomy of the regime..... RELATED REPORTS: Issues & Concerns Vol. 7 - Locked in, tied up: Burma’s disciplined democracy; 100 Days of Burmas Parliament - Strengthening the Status Quo; Thein Sein's first 100 days: Words not matched by actions.
Language: English
Source/publisher: ALTSEAN-Burma
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 12 July 2011


Title: See also the 7th step of the 7-Step Roadmap
Language: English
Source/publisher: Online Burma/Myanmar Library
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 28 November 2011


Title: The Pyidaungsu Hluttaw
Description/subject: The Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (Burmese: ပြည်ထောင်စု လွှတ်တော်, pronounced [pjìdàuɴzu̯ l̥ʊʔtɔ̀]; Assembly of the Union) is the national-level bicameral legislature of Myanmar (officially known as the Republic of the Union of Myanmar) established by the 2008 National Constitution. The Pyidaungsu Hluttaw is made up of two houses, the Amyotha Hluttaw (အမျိုးသားလွှတ်တော်; House of Nationalities), a 224-seat upper house as well as the Pyithu Hluttaw, a 440-seat lower house (ပြည်သူ့လွှတ်တော်; House of Representatives). Each of the fourteen major administrative regions and states has its own local Hluttaw--Region Hluttaw (တိုင်းဒေသကြီးလွှတ်တော်; Region Assembly) or State Hluttaw (ပြည်နယ်လွှတ်တော်; State Assembly). The Pyidaungsu Hluttaw is housed in a 31-building complex, which is believed to represent the 31 planes of existence in Buddhist cosmology, located in Zeya Theddhi Ward of Naypyidaw.[1] Members of the first Pyidaungsu Hluttaw were elected in the Burmese general election on 7 November 2010.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Wikipedia
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 29 November 2011


Individual Documents

Title: Myanmar’s parliament is missing link in Rakhine crisis
Date of publication: 07 December 2017
Description/subject: "Renaud Egreteau asks how the legislature could provide more oversight on the recent Rakhine State crisis...When the Arakan Rohingya Solidarity Army (ARSA) launched attacks against military and police outposts in Myanmar’s northern Rakhine State on August 25, the fifth session of the Union parliament was about to go into recess. Minister of Home Affairs Lt-Gen. Kyaw Swe and his deputy, Maj-Gen. Aung Soe, quickly provided details about the response of the armed forces and police to lawmakers in both parliamentary houses, which have been controlled by the National League for Democracy since the 2015 elections. They explained at length how the country’s constitution and laws, particularly the counter-terrorism legislation passed in 2014, governed the actions of the security forces. The military-appointed lawmakers seconded their report, stressing the commitment of the armed forces, or Tatmadaw, to protect the nation and safeguard its territorial integrity. Little was said, however, about the brutal operations that subsequently triggered the exodus of more than 650,000 refugees into neighbouring Bangladesh. The regular session then adjourned on August 31 and no extraordinary session was convened in response to the crisis. No state of emergency was declared either. Instead, the Union legislature simply went into a six-week recess, reconvening on October 17 for its sixth plenary session. "Could Union lawmakers raise their voices and become meaningfully involved in policy discussions regarding security-related events in Rakhine State? For a country with a relatively young but once active parliament, it is a moment for the legislature to seize the opportunity to assert itself and play a central role in conflict oversight and crisis management..."
Author/creator: Renaud Egreteau
Language: English
Source/publisher: teacircleoxford
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 07 December 2017


Title: Parliamentary Development in Myanmar: An Overview of the Union Parliament, 2011-2016
Date of publication: May 2017
Description/subject: Executive Summary: "Myanmar’s Union Parliament has evolved into a significant political institution of the regime shaped after the 2010 general elections. First under the leadership of the Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP, 2011-2016), and then the National League for Democracy (NLD) after its victory in the 2015 polls, the bicameral assembly has begun modifying, repealing, and producing new legislation. It has taken nascent but significant steps towards the vetting and scrutiny of the new, post-junta executive branch and bureaucracy. It has also served as a new public space where the grievances of citizens are heard and new ideas debated in ways unthinkable under Myanmar’s past military rules. It may prove a unique case amongst other post-authoritarian societies attempting to revive parliamentarianism. These outstanding developments do not, however, mean that Myanmar’s progress towards the institutionalization of its new legislative power will be steady and successful beyond the initial post-junta legislatures. Given that Parliament was only revised in 2011, there are several areas where reform and restructuring are needed to improve the long-term effectiveness, efficiency, representativeness, and autonomy of not only the legislative process, but also the fragile parliamentary institution itself. This report presents an assessment of the structural organization, workings, and legislative performance of the Union Parliament since 2011. It first describes the constitutional, organizational, and legal framework of Myanmar’s new, post-junta legislative process. It also offers a comparative examination of the sociological profile of the two legislatures elected in 2010 and 2015. It then analyzes the various parliamentary practices and mechanisms observed in the context of both the USDP and the early NLD legislatures. Drawing on interviews carried out in Nay Pyi Taw, the study focuses on the core functions a democratic legislature is meant to perform: the (re)making of laws, the representation of citizens, and the scrutiny of government activities and expenditures. The report argues that Myanmar’s Union Parliament has fallen into the category of a nascent, marginal legislature, with the willingness and capacity to influence, rather than command, policy and lawmaking, and a potential for vetting, rather than thoroughly overseeing, the activities and behaviors of other branches of government. With the assistance of domestic and international donors, there have been remarkable attempts in its six years of existence to institutionalize and professionalize the functioning of the legislature and the capacity of its members and staff. Nevertheless, the report points to several key weaknesses, including the lack of sufficient resources, efficient organizational capacity, knowledge, and understanding of oversight and vetting mechanisms and a fragile institutional autonomy. The report concludes with a series of recommendations for enhancing the role, functioning, representativeness, and influence of the Union legislature so as to strengthen a body that is essential for the deepening of democratization in Myanmar..."
Author/creator: Renaud Egreteau
Language: English
Source/publisher: Asia Foundation
Format/size: pdf (1MB-reduced version; 1.62-original)
Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs24/AF-Egreteau-2017-05-Parliamentary-Development-in-Myanmar-red.pdf
Date of entry/update: 08 December 2017


Title: Myanmar's emerging parliamentary conundrum
Date of publication: 18 August 2016
Description/subject: "Growing criticism within Myanmar's political circles about the erosion of parliamentary power is being directed at Aung San Suu Kyi's fledgling leadership of the country. Several lawmakers, particularly veterans of the earlier parliament which sat from 2011 to 2016, have publicly criticized the heavy hand of the ruling National League for Democracy, which dominates the executive branch. Despite earlier hopes that a revived parliament could play a transformative role in post-junta Myanmar, some critics are now asking whether the institution will become steadily marginalized in the NLD-led political system..."
Author/creator: Renaud Egreteau
Language: English
Source/publisher: Nikkei Asian Review
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 18 August 2016


Title: Not a Rubber Stamp: Myanmar’s Legislature in a Time of Transition
Date of publication: 13 December 2013
Description/subject: OVERVIEW: "Myanmar’s new legislature, the Union Assembly formed in 2011 on the basis of elections the previous year, has turned out to be far more vibrant and influential than expected. Both its lower and upper houses have a key role in driving the transition process through the enactment and amendment of legislation needed to reform the outdated legal code and are acting as a real check on the power of the executive. Yet, some bills moving through the legislature have raised concerns that the authorities, both legislative and executive, may not be ready to give up authoritarian controls on the media, on civil society organisations and on the right to demonstrate. More broadly, the role of the 25 per cent military bloc and its impact on the legislature have been questioned. Serious individual and institutional capacity constraints and unclear procedures serve as a brake on effective, efficient lawmaking. Several controversial pieces of legislation are being developed. The association bill under consideration would provide a framework for the registration and operation of social organisations and international non-governmental organisations (NGOs). Initial drafts were considered by local organisations and international experts to be highly restrictive and far short of global best practice. At the same time, there has been legislative willingness to consult with those local groups and listen to expert advice. The latest version is far less restrictive and addresses the majority of civil society concerns. The law on peaceful assembly promulgated in 2011 has been widely criticised for imposing criminal penalties on those who demonstrate without permission. Scores of activists have been charged and dozens imprisoned under it, raising serious questions about the true extent of Myanmar’s new freedoms. Senior lawmakers have acknowledged that such imprisonment is inconsistent with the president’s pledge that there will be no more political prisoners by the end of the year. A proposal to amend the problematic provisions has been drawn up. New media legislation to replace the old draconian restrictions is being debated. Again, some problematic provisions have been carried over into the draft bills, including the power to issue and revoke publishing licences and broadly-worded restrictions on content. There has been consultation with media representatives, including the press council, but so far it is not clear to what extent their concerns will be taken into account. The government has expressed some unease about having an unregulated media when many journalists still do not well understand professional and ethical standards. What emerges is a picture of a lawmaking process with flaws but in general willing to consult with stakeholders and make use of expert inputs. Authoritarian reflexes and concerns in some quarters about opening up too far, too fast are now tempered, though not erased, by other considerations, such as public demands for consultation and a desire to meet international standards. The shape of media legislation and whether the announced amendments are made to the peaceful assembly law will be the next concrete tests of whether it is the old reflexes that hold sway or the new openness. The 25 per cent of seats reserved for the military under the constitution has been a source of concern to many. While the reservation is not consistent with fundamental democratic principles, the military bloc has generally taken positions supportive of the reform process. There have been some tensions with other lawmakers, as the bloc has sometimes voted in support of the executive and the president and against the majority Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP), established by the old military regime. More broadly, lawmaking is constrained by representatives’ lack of experience and institutional weaknesses in what is the first independent legislature in Myanmar for 50 years. Lawmakers have little knowledge of democratic practice, and there is very little institutional support. Without offices or staff, with no policy and research help, and with committees lacking internal experts to report on and analyse the issues, efficient, effective lawmaking is impossible. Under such circumstances, and with a crowded legislative agenda, it is impressive how much has been achieved. But as the transition proceeds, far greater investments are needed if this critical branch of government is to meet public expectations".
Language: English
Source/publisher: International Crisis Group (ICG) Asia Report N°142
Format/size: pdf (286K-reduced version; 2.58MB-original)
Alternate URLs: http://www.crisisgroup.org/en/regions/asia/south-east-asia/myanmar/b142-not-a-rubber-stamp-myanmar-...
Date of entry/update: 13 December 2013


Title: BURMA’S PARLIAMENT: FUNDAMENTAL REFORMS STILL BLOCKED
Date of publication: 21 September 2012
Description/subject: 1..No progress on the repeal of oppressive laws 2..Important proposals rejected 3..Parliament accepts new VP with eyes closed, boosts presidential powers 3..Local Parliaments shut 3..Military MPs inactive 4..Regime lies in Parliament 4..MPs wrangle over Foreign Investment Law 4..Green light to land confiscation commission, improved legislation 5..NLD makes parliamentary debut 6..Recap of parliamentary sessions 6..List of new laws
Language: English
Source/publisher: ALTSEAN-Burma
Format/size: pdf (99K)
Date of entry/update: 24 September 2012


Title: BURMA’S PARLIAMENT: A TOOL FOR INSTITUTIONALIZED OPPRESSION
Date of publication: 28 November 2011
Description/subject: • Despite the regime’s claim that an elected legislature was a crucial step towards the emergence of its “discipline-flourishing democracy,” the Parliament is turning out to be the regime’s key tool for institutionalizing oppression. • The pro-regime Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP)-dominated Parliament refuses to repeal the draconian laws that provided the basis for the imprisonment of several thousand political prisoners in recent years. • The refusal makes the adoption of the much-publicized “Labor Organizations Law” and “Peaceful Gathering and Demonstration Law” irrelevant as the regime is still able to invoke the blanket “security” provisions of draconian laws. • The Parliament’s second session repeats the sham parliamentary debates witnessed during the January- March first session. Important issues, such as national reconciliation and the ongoing conflict in ethnic areas are only marginally discussed. • During question time, regime ministers and officials go to great lengths to categorically deny human rights abuses and to justify repressive measures. • Ruling party and military MPs oppose the adoption of important proposals on the release of political prisoners and the improvement of detention conditions in jails across the country. Instead, they introduce new restrictive laws designed to limit political participation. • Debate and approval of the national budget remain off-limits to MPs because State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) Chairman Sr Gen Than Shwe approved the budget for the 2011-2012 financial year before Parliament convened on 31 January. • The laws that govern parliamentary proceedings, enacted by Than Shwe in October 2010, continue to severely restrict parliamentary debate and participation. • Censorship and lack of access continue to characterize the media environment during the Parliament’s second session. • Despite the regime’s claim that local Parliaments would provide some degree of legislative decentralization, most of the Division and State Parliaments fail to introduce or debate any legislation. • In a bogus attempt to show its commitment to reach a ceasefire with ethnic armed groups, the regime forms two parliamentary ‘peace-making’ committees. However, the committees fail to adopt any initiatives aimed at facilitating peace talks.
Language: English
Source/publisher: ALTSEAN-Burma
Format/size: pdf (152K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.altsean.org/Docs/PDF%20Format/Thematic%20Briefers/Burmas%20Parliament%20-%20A%20tool%20f...
Date of entry/update: 28 November 2011


Title: "The Irrawaddy" commentaries on the Parliament
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy"
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 24 January 2015


Title: Amyotha Hluttaw
Description/subject: The Amyotha Hluttaw (Burmese: အမျိုးသားလွှတ်တော်, IPA: [ʔəmjóðá l̥ʊʔtɔ̀]; House of Nationalities) is the upper house of the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw, the bicameral legislature of Burma (Myanmar). It consists of 224 member of which 168 are directly elected and 56 appointed by the Myanmar Armed Forces. The last elections to the Amyotha Hluttaw were held in November 2010. At its first meeting on 31 January 2011, Khin Aung Myint was elected Speaker of the Amyotha Hluttaw and Chairman of the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw as a whole.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Wikipedia
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 29 November 2011


Title: Pyithu Hluttaw
Description/subject: The Pyithu Hluttaw (Burmese: ပြည်သူ့ လွှတ်တော်, pronounced [pjìðṵ l̥ʊʔtɔ̀]; House of Representatives) is the lower house of the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw, the bicameral legislature of Burma (Myanmar). It consists of 440 members of which 330 are directly elected and 110 appointed by the Myanmar Armed Forces. The last elections to the Pyithu Hluttaw were held in November 2010. At its first meeting on 31 January 2011, Thura Shwe Mann was elected Speaker of the Pyithu Hluttaw.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Wikipedia
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 29 November 2011