This Week in Parliament

By The Irrawaddy 28 March 2020

Monday (March 23) 

Military lawmaker Colonel Than Naing Win, during discussions on amendments to election law, asked township-level election commissions to be careful with military voter lists, warning that the size of armed forces is top secret and the leak of the documents would be punishable under the 1923 State Secrets Act. In a departure from previous elections, military personnel and their families will have to cast their votes outside military barracks in the next general election, which is expected in November.

According to the Government’s Guarantees, Pledges and Undertakings Vetting Committee of the Lower House, the authorities only fulfilled 59 percent of the pledges made to the Parliament from 2016 to September 2019. The committee urged ministries to take harsh action against tender winners that failed to complete their work on schedule.

Tuesday (March 24)

Union Parliament Speaker T Khun Myat rejected Union Solidarity and Development Party lawmaker U Thaung Aye’s urgent proposal to summon the military-majority National Defence and Security Council following the first reported cases of COVID-19 in Myanmar.

Wednesday (March 25)

In his address to the final session of the Lower House, T Khun Myat called on lawmakers to collaborate in fighting COVID-19, urging them to do their best to minimize the impact.

Lower House military lawmaker Major Win Min Tun urged the speaker to call on the government to review the performance of ministries that failed to fulfill pledges made to the national legislature.

Thursday (March 26) 

The Union Parliament approved President U Win Myint’s proposal to obtain loans worth 7.3 billion yen (91.5 billion kyats) from the Japan International Cooperation Agency, US$100 million (140 billion kyats) loans and US$10 million (14 billion kyats) in assistance from the International Development Association of the World Bank for the Ministry of Health and Sports, and 40.6 billion yen (518 billion kyats) in loans from the JICA and US$125 million (175 billion kyats) in loans from the Economic Development Cooperation Fund of South Korea for the Ministry of Transport and Communications.

The sessions of both houses came to an end on Thursday.

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