Charter tribunal urged to decide on voting rights of white card holders

A proposal will be submitted to Khin Aung Myint, the speaker of the Upper House parliament, to decide whether granting voting rights to white card holders go against the constitutional law or not with 26 petitions of members of parliament including those from the opposition National League for Democracy, MP Dr Aye Maung of Rakhine National Development Party (RNDP) said. 

“We have already got 27 signatures of MPs. These will be submitted to the speaker. And then we will consult a lawyer’’, said the MP for RNDP.

According to Dr Aye Maung, MPs from Rakhine National Development Party, the National Democratic Force, the National Unity Party, Chin representative Phone Myint Aung, All Mons Region Democracy Party, Phalon Sawaw, ethnic representatives and ethnic Rakhine MPs from the ruling Union Solidarity and Development Party petitioned against granting voting rights to the white card holders. 

“The most important point is the decision of the Constitutional Tribunal. It is required to give a right decision. There are three persons chosen by the President at the Constitutional Tribunal whereas the parliament selects six persons. The interpretation of the Constitutional Tribunal is required to be more precise. It needs to be free from bias. The people will hold a rally at Kyaython Pagoda on February 8 demanding that the Constitutional Tribunal must make a correct decision,” Dr Aye Maung said.

“The Constitutional Tribunal was formed after the Constitution was approved by the State Law and Order Restoration Council and the State Peace and Development Council. The provisions prescribed before approving the Constitution must be the same as the sections included in the Constitution. If not, any existing law will be invalid. The interpretation of the sections must not be different meaning,” Dr Aye Maung said.  

The Union parliament discussed the 2008 constitutional amendment bill and the national referendum bill re-sent together with the remarks of President Thein Sein on February 2 and then decided to allow the white card holders to vote in the national referendum.