The Irrawaddy

This Week in Parliament (March 19-23)

Monday (March 19)

The Union Parliament approved more than 6.4 billion kyats (US$7.8 million) for the Ministry of Transport and Communications to monitor the internet for people who use it to “harm the stability” of the country. The Social Media Monitoring Team was formed with the approval of the Union government in February to identify those who instigate political instability on the Internet and social media.

Tuesday (March 20)

The Union Parliament passed the draft Union Taxation Law 2018, agreeing that a separate law would be required for taxation on income from unidentified sources. According to the law, anyone with a minimum annual income of 4.8 million kyats is liable to pay income tax.

Wednesday (March 21)

Lower House Speaker U Win Myint resigned from his post shortly after President U Htin Kyaw’s sudden departure the same day, prompting speculation that he will be Myanmar’s next president.

Thursday (March 22)

U T Khun Myat, an ex-lawmaker of the Union Solidarity and Development Party was elected as the Lower House speaker, and U Tun Aung aka U Tun Tun Hein of the National League for Democracy as the deputy speaker. Having stepped down as president before serving his full term and without citing ill health, outgoing president U Htin Kyaw is not entitled to a pension or gratuity, according to lawmakers.

Friday (March 23)

U Win Myint, who resigned as the Lower House speaker on Wednesday, and U Thaung Aye of Pyawbwe Township were nominated to be vice-president. U Win Myint was elected as the third vice-president, one of the three to then be voted the next president.