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Myanmar MPs propose to amend laws to block non-citizens from voting
Publication Date : 19-09-2013
Members of the parliament in Myanmar have submitted bills to amend parliamentary election laws to allow temporary citizenship card holders to vote.
MP Ba Shein from Kyaukphyu Constituency in Rakhine State said on Monday that the bills -- the Lower House Election Law, Upper House Election Law and Regional Parliament Election Law -- would be discussed during the forthcoming 8th parliamentary session in Nay Pyi Taw.
"We have submitted those bills to amend the laws that allow non-citizens to cast votes. This is contrary with the constitution. That issue may be dealth with in the upcoming parliamentary session," said Ba Shein from the Rakhine Nationalities Development Party (RNDP).
All the parliamentary election laws passed during the time of the former military regime give the so-called "white card holders" the right to vote although they are not citizens of Myanmar.
Upper House MP Dr Aye Maung from RNDP said the bills were submitted to the Lower House of Parliament. Another bill amending the right for non-citizens to establish political parties has also been submitted and it would be discussed in parliament, he added.
The Lower House's Joint Bill Committee chairman said on Monday that many laws needed amendments based on the constitution while the 1982 Citizenship Law also needed to be reviewed. Systematic measures would be taken after all the MPs had held discussions.
Most MPs have criticised the previous elections for giving the right to white card holders to vote, saying it encroaches upon national sovereignty.