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Home2015 ElectionsUpper House votes to adopt PR nationwide

Upper House votes to adopt PR nationwide

Burma’s upper house of parliament, commonly known as the amyothar hluttaw, approved by a majority vote on Monday the adoption of a proportional representation (PR) System for all future elections for the house at a Union level, and for all states and divisions.

The upper house will now hand over the proposal to the Union Election Commission.

The proposal was passed with 138 MPs voting in favour of PR, 24 against, and five no votes.

The move comes shortly after the lower house had voted not to adopt PR, but to keep the electoral system as first-past-the-post.

At the upper house on Monday however, a ruling majority of Union Solidarity and Development Party lawmakers was able to outvote the National League for Democracy and ethnic political parties.

Mon parliamentarian Myo Tint Lwin said, “While the pyithu hluttaw [lower house] declared PR to be against the Constitution, the upper house has decided it is not. The issue is questionable. Can the Constitution have two definitions? If they use a PR system, the small ethnic parties will be destroyed.”

In June, the upper house voted to adopt PR, but the original proposal only accounted for central and lower Burman divisions, not ethnic states. Monday’s decision included the entire country.

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