Opposition lawmakers blanch at Pyithu speaker edict

By NYAN HLAING LYNN | FRONTIER

NAY PYI TAW — Opposition MPs have baulked at an instruction issued by Lower House Speaker U Win Myint which requires all MPs to seek his approval before holding meetings with local and international civil society organisations.

A July 22 letter distributed to all Pyithu Hluttaw MPs and signed by Win Myint ordered MPs invited to attend meetings, workshops or training activities to inform the speaker’s office of the invitation.

U Thein Tun, a second-term Pyithu lawmaker for the Union Solidarity and Development Party representing Kyaunggon, expressed dissatisfaction, telling Frontier that the edict was an unnecessary continuation of the previous parliament’s policy.

“It is the same as while U Shwe Mann was the speaker,” he said. “The difference was that he didn’t issue an official letter. But we still had to get approval from him.”

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U Pe Than, who represents Myebon for the Arakan National Party, was similarly upset with the policy.

“It shows an attitude of wishing to control MPs activities,” he told Frontier.

The policy has nonetheless won the endorsement of the Lower House Rights Committee, which is dominated by the incumbent National League for Democracy.

“The instruction prevents unpleasant problems from taking place, I think,” said committee secretary Dr. Hla Moe, who did not offer further comment.

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