This Week in Parliament

By The Irrawaddy 1 February 2020

Monday (Jan. 27) 

Two constitutional amendment bills proposing a total of 114 amendments to the country’s Constitution—including changes that would limit the role of the military and its commander-in-chief in politics—were submitted to the Union Parliament.

One proposal calls for removing unelected military lawmakers from Parliament. It suggests reducing the military bloc, which currently accounts for 25 percent of lawmakers, to 15 percent in the 2020 election, and by a further 5 percentage points at subsequent general elections.

Another proposes amending Article 436, which grants the military an effective veto over any proposed constitutional changes. It suggests changing the requirement for approving a charter amendment from more than 75 percent of Parliament to “two-thirds of elected representatives.”

Tuesday (Jan. 28) 

In his discussion of the Yangon regional government’s proposal to obtain a 50-million-euro (80.7-billion-kyat) ODA (official development assistance) loan from the government of Poland to implement a project to treat and recycle trash in Yangon, lawmaker U Kyaw Naing of the National League for Democracy said the Htein Bin dumpsite in Yangon’s Hlaingtharyar Township could contribute to the spread of the coronavirus in Myanmar. A coronavirus outbreak that began in Wuhan, China in December had by the end of January spread across China and to at least 15 countries.

Wednesday (Jan. 29)

As lawmakers continued to discuss the 50-million-euro ODA loan from Poland, they asked the Yangon Region government to explain why it had rejected proposals from some 150 local and foreign companies over the past three years to implement private-public partnership waste-management or waste-to-energy plants. Lawmakers called for Yangon’s municipal garbage disposal system to be switched to a private-public partnership.

Thursday (Jan. 30)

In the Upper House, lawmaker U Kyaw Htwe submitted proposed changes to the 2013 Minimum Wage Law that call for adjusting the minimum wage as necessary depending on the economic performance of the country.

The 2013 law mandates that the government adjust the minimum wage every two years; the next mandatory rate adjustment is due in May.

Myanmar set a minimum wage for the first time in September 2015, at 450 kyats per hour and 3,600 kyats for an eight-hour working day, regardless of the location and type of job. The current rate of 4,800 kyats was set in May 2018.

Friday (Jan. 31) 

The Union Parliament approved a President Office’s proposal to restructure the townships in Yangon Region. Under the new structure, Dagon Seikkan Township will disappear from the map of Yangon and be incorporated into Botatung and Lanmadaw townships. Hlaingtharyar, the region’s most populous township, will be divided into Eastern and Western Hlaingtharyar.

The restructuring will have an impact on the Lower House, whose representatives are elected from each township in the country, as well as on the Yangon regional parliament, to which two representatives from each township are elected.

Additionally, the Union Parliament voted to obtain the 50-million-euro ODA loan from

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