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March 02, 2018


Military to support State Counsellor Bill if found constitutional

Daw Aung San Suu Kyi smiles with army members during the handover ceremony of Presidency in Nay Pyi Taw on 30 March. Photo: Reuters
Daw Aung San Suu Kyi smiles with army members during the handover ceremony of Presidency in Nay Pyi Taw on 30 March. Photo: Reuters

IF the State Counsellor Bill is in line with the constitution, the military representatives will support it, said Brig-Gen Maung Maung, a military representative in the Pyithu Hluttaw (Lower House), yesterday.
The State Counsellor Bill would create the post of the State Counsellor for Daw Aung San Suu Kyi in the new cabinet. It was passed by Amyotha Hluttaw with no amendments by a vote of 137 to 68 and was advanced to the Lower House yesterday.
“We need enough time to discuss some provisions in the bill so that it will achieve constitutional compliance,” said Brig-Gen Maung Maung, who is also a member of the Pyithu Hluttaw Bill Committee.
“If the bill is made into law within a short time, it would be questionable as to whether it is in line with democratic norms and transparency,” said Brig-Gen Maung Maung.
Brig-Gen Maung Maung also pointed out that the term ‘Democratic Federal Union’, which the bill uses to describe the country, is not stated in the 2008 constitution. He also called for replacing the word ‘State’ in the title of the State Counsellor Bill with the one that is more appropriate, such as ‘President’. He also demanded the placement of a clear demarcation between the legislative branch and executive branch in the Bill.
“The bill was drawn up with the aim of ensuring a multi-party democratic system, a market economic system, a federal Union, peace and development in the Union,” said U Tun Tun Hein, chairman of the Pyithu Hluttaw Bill Committee in his presentation of the committee’s report, calling for parliamentary approval of the bill.
However, U Stephen, secretary of the Bill Committee, said the Bill needs to be reviewed to ensure its provisions conform to the constitution.
The bill will be debated in the Pyithu Hluttaw today.
The bill includes five chapters and eight articles. The term of the office for the State Counsellor is the same as that of the president, who will be in office throughout the duration of the term of current second parliament, according to the bill.
The bill is aimed at helping create a multi-party democracy in Myanmar and building a peaceful, modern and developed nation with a market-oriented economic system and establishing a democratic, free federal Union.—GNLM


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