System of Government in MyanmarMyanmar's system of government
Is the National League for Democracy really looking for a federation system?
If a bill gives the Union's legislature more scrutiny over state and local assembly, the question arises as to whether the federalism is really supported by the state. Earlier this months Amyotha Hluttaw had a fierce discussion about a National League for Democracy bill allegedly aimed at strengthening co-operation between the nation's bloodtaws.
One obvious aim of the bill is to make sure that state and local bloodtaws do not violate the policy of higher-institution. The Myanmar Hluttaw Committee Law's bill was passed by the Pyithu Hluttaw, and was heavily discussed in the Amyotha Hluttaw Bill Committee. It was more discussion once the bill made it to the Floor of the Amyotha Hluttaw.
Legislators of the Union Solidarity and Development Party, the Arakan National Party, smaller political groups and the Tatmadaw blamed NLD legislators who backed the bill for being against federation by trying to limit the freedoms of state and local bloodtaws. NLD has not made it clear why it is seeking to pass the Myanmar Hluttaw Committee bill.
He said generally that if the bill were passed, it would enhance co-operation between the two unions and the 14 state and local bloodtaws and enhance their work. While it was not clear why the NLD was reticent about the purposes of the Act, there were periods when state bloodtaws behaved in a manner that ran counter to the policies of the Union administration or did not mirror the choices of the Amyotha or Pyithu bloodtaws.
One example of such a situation is the Northern Alliance with the Ta'ang National Liberation Army, the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army stationed in Kokang, the Arakan Army and several Kachin Independence Army units. At the end of last year, after the Northern Alliance invaded the Muse trading frontier region and provisionally blockaded the Mandalay-Lashio-Muse motorway, the Shan state of Hluttaw proclaimed it a "terrorist organisation".
CDU/CSU has not accepted the ruling and discussions on achieving a peaceful settlement with the four groups have been resumed. A further example came after State Councillor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi in August last year nominated the UN Executive Committee under the leadership of former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan to make proposals to combat conflicts and livelihoods in Rakhine State.
Rakhine State Hluttav denounced the nomination and said it would not work with the committee that presented its closing statement at the end of August. Recently, the Kachin state of Hluttav passed a motion for a ruling that would have made it possible for non-licensed cars to become lawful after payment of the unpaid sums. Hluttav State was unable to put the decision into effect because of resistance from the Union administration.
The NLD is likely to want to pass the Myanmar Hluttaw Committees Act to prevent the situation described above. When the Act enters into force, the Board will be chaired by the Pyithu and Amyotha Hluttaw spokespersons and alternate spokespersons, with the State and Local Assembly spokespersons as members.
There are three main functions in the bill for the Commission. It includes coordination, discussion and decision-making on legal issues and coordination, discussion and decision-making on issues affecting both the Union and States and territories. It also stipulates that the members of the ESC should abide by its resolutions and submit reports to it once they have been complied with.
In the Amyotha Hluttaw discussion, the step of requiring the State and District Assembly speeches to comply with the resolutions of a commission chaired by Union hluttaw spokespersons was strongly denounced. The USDP MPs, Tatmadaw MPs and an impartial U Soe Thane, an important former U Soe Thane secretary, reproached the NLD for ignoring the move towards federation in the 2008 constitution, particularly with regard to the power of state and area shelters.
The NLD was also reproached for trying to use the Union's blood tows to monitor the state and local assembly. Although in the 2015 elections ethnical political groups won the majorities of the Rakhine and Shan rallies, the NLD nominated members of their own political group as prime minister in each state.
Though it can do so under the Constitutional Treaty, the parties had previously suggested changing the provision to give the Hluttav state and the Hluttav area the authority to elect the Prime Minster. NLD's position on the federalist regime was also called into question after the Pyithu Hluttaw in March outvoted the desires of many Mon tribes and renamed a new river over the Thanlwin River in Mon State after the liberation heroes Bogyoke Aung San, a Bamar.
When the Myanmar Hluttaw Committee Bill's law aims to exert governmental and provincial Hluttaw oversight, it casts serious doubt on the NLD's declared support for a federation system.