Parliament


Mandalay Division’s Border and Security Affairs minister has vowed to crackdown on LGBT couples that engage in “inappropriate” public displays of affection and pledged an increased presence at the city’s moat and western dock areas.
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Burma’s Union Parliament has approved two bills that place restrictions on religious conversion and polygamy, the last of four controversial bills concerning race and religion to have sped through the legislature since late last year.
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Burma’s Union Parliament voted on Thursday to delay discussion of a hotly contested impeachment bill that could have been used to unseat besieged Speaker Shwe Mann, who last week was removed from his post as chairman of the ruling party in a surprise political reshuffle.
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Myanmar is soon to hold elections for regional/state assemblies, the national parliament, and the president. Voting for the first two, scheduled for November 8, will influence the third – the election of the president, which may take place in February 2016. Much is at stake, not only for political forces within the country but also for powers elsewhere in the region. The process of conducting free and fair elections and their eventual outcome will very likely influence regional politics.
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Many foreigners believe that Myanmar is moving towards full-blown democracy, with a general election scheduled for November 8th. To the armed forces, democracy is fine so long as they can still call most of the shots. They will find this much harder if the army-backed party in parliament, the Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP), loses its majority, as seems possible. Against this backdrop of soldiers keen to cling to power, President Thein Sein, a former general, has started to purge the ranks of the ruling party.
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In an interview with Nancy Shwe, director of RFA’s Myanmar Service,  Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, Commander in Chief of the Myanmar Armed Forces, said former junta chief Than Shwe advises his former army colleagues on military affairs but exerts no influence on the country’s politics. He also denied that the Tatmadaw [Myanmar’s armed services]  played any role in the ouster last week of  ruling party chairman Shwe Mann.
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A radio station linked to Burma’s besieged Parliament Speaker Shwe Mann will return to the air on Wednesday at 6pm after being abruptly shut down by the government last week.
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Burma’s Union Parliament on Thursdaywill discuss legislation on impeachment proceedings for sitting lawmakers, an increasingly contentious proposition that could see sparks flythis week against the backdrop of a ruling party power struggle and looming nationwide elections.
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Several Union Solidarity and Development Party lawmakers voiced concern on Tuesday over the impact last week’s intraparty turmoil could have on the ruling party’s image three months out from a general election scheduled for November 8.
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Parliament’s Upper House voted to halt the current session of the legislature on Wednesday, in line with a proposal put forward the day prior that cited lawmakers’ desire to return to their constituencies to assist with flood recovery efforts and prepare for the fast-approaching election campaign season.
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Yangon Region’s minister for security and border affairs has resigned to contest the November 8 election as a Union Solidarity and Development Party candidate for Coco Island.
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After months of protest and dispute, the minimum wage was finally confirmed at K3600 per day at a final meeting with employers and worker representatives yesterday.
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Rumours of a run on several major banks are untrue, said the Central Bank of Myanmar in a television statement late on August 17.

Rumours had spread on social media that Asia Green Development (AGD) Bank, part of Htoo Group of Companies, and Kanbawza Bank (KBZ) would close.
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Much uncertainty surrounds the lead up to and conduct of Myanmar’s upcoming legislative elections. The recent voting down of constitutional amendments in parliament — almost certainly (and solely) by the bloc of appointed, non-elected military parliamentarians — erodes to a certain extent the legitimacy of the electoral process. The Tatmadaw (Myanmar’s armed forces) retain their privileged political powers and Aung San Suu Kyi remains barred from the presidency. These events question the sincerity of Myanmar’s transition away from military rule, especially as power is becoming increasingly more diffuse and diversified with respect to the actors involved.
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A surprising move by the Burmese military elite has just taken place as the forthcoming November general election fast approaches. The sudden removal of Chairman Thura Shwe Mann and Secretary-General Maung Maung Thein of the military-back Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) is regarded by some Western analysts as incumbent President Thein Sein’s rather blatant and self-serving manoeuvring to secure his second presidency in the coming election.
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Four days after being deposed as Union Solidarity and Development Party leader in a show of force by the government, Thura U Shwe Mann has handed over his position to U Htay Oo.
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House Speaker Shwe Mann opened the Lower House of Parliament on Tuesday morning, in what is sure to be a testy session following his ouster as ruling party chairman late last week.
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The political turmoil within Burma’s ruling party that has unfolded since late last week sufficed to mute an odd ministerial appointment that might otherwise have raised more eyebrows.
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The Central Bank of Myanmar pledged Tuesday to assist private banks that may run into financial difficulties, looking to address recent speculation that some financial institutions were heading for a crash due in part to the recent depreciation of the kyat.
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The Yangon Region Parliament yesterday rejected a proposal from MP Daw Nyo Nyo Thin to discuss the use of state school students at ceremonies not related to education.
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