Opposition lawmakers blanch at Pyithu speaker edict


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.”

Support more independent journalism like this. Sign up to be a Frontier member.

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.

More stories

Latest Issue

Stories in this issue
Myanmar enters 2021 with more friends than foes
The early delivery of vaccines is one of the many boons of the country’s geopolitics, but to really take advantage, Myanmar must bury the legacy of its isolationist past.
Will the Kayin BGF go quietly?
The Kayin State Border Guard Force has come under intense pressure from the Tatmadaw over its extensive, controversial business interests and there’s concern the ultimatum could trigger fresh hostilities in one of the country’s most war-torn areas.

Support our independent journalism and get exclusive behind-the-scenes content and analysis

Stay on top of Myanmar current affairs with our Daily Briefing and Media Monitor newsletters.

Sign up for our Frontier Fridays newsletter. It’s a free weekly round-up featuring the most important events shaping Myanmar