The Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (bicameral legislature) on Tuesday approved an urgent proposal to amend the controversial 2008 constitution, despite all military MPs voting against it.
U Aung Kyi Nyunt, a member of the Amyotha Hluttaw (Upper House) Bill Committee submitted the urgent proposal on behalf of the ruling National League for Democracy (NLD).
He explained that the proposal is to form a committee within parliament to “carry out the process of amending the constitution.”
Before Pyidaungsu Hluttaw Speaker U T Khun Myat made a decision on the proposal, Brigadier General Maung Maung, a senior military MP, stood up and insisted that the process of submitting the proposal violated parliamentary procedure.
"MPs should know in advance about the proposal," he said, adding that they do not know anything about the nature of the committee being proposed and its powers.
Brig Gen Maung Maung added that the proposal should not be approved by vote. All military MPs, which comprise 25 percent of the parliament, stood up, showing they rejected the proposal.
U T Khun Myat apologized to the military MPs and told them to sit down to show respect for parliament.
The proposal was approved by 369 of the 601 members of parliament present at the session, while 17 MPs voted against the proposal, and three MPs abstained. The military MPs boycotted the voting process.
The proposal is scheduled to be discussed on Friday.