Myanmar is a Nation with magnificent historical traditions. We, the National people, have been living in unity and oneness, setting up an independent sovereign State and standing tall with pride.
Reference to country's history
Due to colonial intrusion, the Nation lost her sovereign power in 1885. The National people launched anti-colonialist struggles and National liberation struggles, with unity in strength, sacrificing lives and hence the Nation became an independent sovereign State again on 4th January 1948.
Reference to country's history
In order to gain independence speedily, the Constitution was hastily drafted, and it was adopted by the Constituent Assembly on 24th September 1947. After attaining independence, Parliamentary Democracy System was practised in the State in accord with the Constitution of the Union of Myanmar. However, as democratic system could not be effectively materialized, the new Constitution of the Socialist Republic of the Union of Myanmar was drafted based on the single party system, and after holding a National Referendum, a socialist democratic State was set up in 1974. The Constitution came to an end because of the general situation occurred in 1988.
Reference to country's history
Later, due to public aspirations, the State Peace and Development Council made efforts to adopt multi-party democratic system and market economy in accord with the National situation.
Motives for writing constitution
As an enduring Constitution, that guarantees long-term benefits, has become essential for the future nation, the State Peace and Development Council convened the National Convention in 1993.
Persons who are well experienced in various aspects of politics, security, administration, economics, social and law as well as National races representatives of all townships in the Nation took part in the National Convention.
Despite many difficulties and disturbances encountered the National Convention, it was unwaveringly reconvened in 2004 in accord with the seven-step Roadmap adopted in 2003. As the National Convention was able to adopt the Basic Principles and Detailed Basic Principles for formulating a Constitution, it successfully concluded on 3rd September 2007.
Source of constitutional authority
We, the National people, drafted this Constitution of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar in accord with the Basic Principles and Detailed Basic Principles laid down by the National Convention.
Motives for writing constitution
We, the National people, firmly resolve that we shall:
Source of constitutional authority
DO HEREBY ADOPT this Constitution of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar through a nation-wide referendum on the Tenth day of Kasone Waning, 1370 M.E. (The Twenty-Ninth day of May, 2008 A.D.)
Chapter III. Head of State - The President and Vice-Presidents
The President and Vice-Presidents represent the Union.
- The President of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar takes precedence over all other persons throughout the Republic of the Union of Myanmar.
Eligibility for head of state
Qualifications of the President and Vice-Presidents are as follows:
- shall be loyal to the Union and its citizens;
- shall be a citizen of Myanmar who was born of both parents who were born in the territory under the jurisdiction of the Union and being Myanmar Nationals;
Minimum age of head of state
shall be an elected person who has attained at least the age of 45;
- shall be well acquainted with the affairs of the Union such as political, administrative, economic and military;
- shall be a person who has resided continuously in the Union for at least 20 years up to the time of his election as President; Proviso: An official period of stay in a foreign country with the permission of the Union shall be counted as a residing period in the Union;
- shall he himself, one of the parents, the spouse, one of the legitimate children or their spouses not owe allegiance to a foreign power, not be subject of a foreign power or citizen of a foreign country. They shall not be persons entitled to enjoy the rights and privileges of a subject of a foreign government or citizen of a foreign country;
- shall possess prescribed qualifications of the President, in addition to qualifications prescribed to stand for election to the Hluttaw.
Deputy executive, Head of state selection
The President shall be elected by the Presidential Electoral College.
- The Presidential Electoral College shall be formed with three groups of the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw representatives as follows:
- group formed with elected Hluttaw representatives in the Hluttaw with an equal number of representatives elected from Regions and States;
- group formed with elected Hluttaw representatives in the Hluttaw elected on the basis of township and population;
- group formed with the Defence Services personnel Hluttaw representatives nominated by the Commander-in-Chief of the Defence Services for the said two Hluttaws.
- Each group shall elect a Vice-President from among the Hluttaw representatives or from among persons who are not Hluttaw representatives.
- The Pyidaungsu Hluttaw and a Body comprising the Heads and Deputy Heads of the two Hluttaws in the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw shall scrutinize whether or not the Vice-Presidents possess the qualifications prescribed for the President.
- The Presidential Electoral College comprising all the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw representatives shall elect by vote one of the three Vice-Presidents who are Presidential candidates, as the President.
- Necessary law shall be enacted for the election of President and Vice-Presidents.
Head of state term length
The term of office of the President or the Vice-Presidents is five years.
- After the expiry of the incumbent term, the President and the Vice-Presidents shall continue their duties until the time the new President is duly elected.
Head of state term limits
The President and the Vice-Presidents shall not serve more than two terms.
- An interim period to serve as the President or the Vice-President shall not be counted as one term of office.
- If a vacancy is filled for the President or the Vice-President for any reason, the term of office of the new President or the new Vice-President shall be up to the expiry of the original term of office.
- The President or the Vice-Presidents shall not be representative of any Hluttaw.
- If the President or the Vice-Presidents are Hluttaw representatives, they shall be deemed to have resigned from their seats in that Hluttaw, and if the President or the Vice Presidents are the Civil Services personnel, they shall be deemed to have resigned or retired from their offices from the day of their election.
- If the President or the Vice-Presidents are members of a political party, they shall not take part in its party activities during their term of office from the day of their election.
Reference to fraternity/solidarity, Oaths to abide by constitution
The President and the Vice-Presidents shall make an affirmation as follows:
"I ........... do solemnly and sincerely promise and declare that I will be loyal to the Republic of the Union of Myanmar and the citizens and hold always in esteem non-disintegration of the Union, non-disintegration of national solidarity and perpetuation of sovereignty.
I will uphold and abide by the Constitution and its Laws. I will carry out the responsibilities uprightly to the best of my ability and strive for further flourishing the eternal principles of justice, liberty and equality. I will dedicate myself to the service of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar."
Head of state powers, Deputy executive
The President or the Vice-Presidents shall exercise duties and powers vested by this Constitution and other laws.
- The President and the Vice-Presidents shall not hold any other office or position of emolument.
- The President and the Vice-Presidents shall furnish a list of family assets under his direction, namely land, houses, buildings, businesses, savings and other valuables together with their values to the Head of the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw.
- The President and the Vice-Presidents shall receive the emoluments, allowances and insignia of office as prescribed by law. Each shall also be provided with an appropriate official residence.
- Except in the case of removal from office following impeachment, the President and the Vice-Presidents shall enjoy pension and suitable allowances on retirement in accord with the law after the expiry of the term of office.
Head of state removal, Cabinet removal
- The President or any Vice-President may be impeached for one of the following reasons:
- high treason;
- breach of the provisions of this Constitution;
- being disqualified for the President or Vice-President under provisions as prescribed in this Constitution;
- inefficient discharge of duties assigned by law.
- If it be required to impeach the President or any Vice-President, a charge signed by not less than one-fourth of the total number of representatives of either Hluttaw included in the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw shall be submitted to the Head of the Hluttaw concerned.
- Action shall proceed only when this charge is supported by not less than two-thirds of the total number of representatives of the Hluttaw concerned.
- If one Hluttaw supports the taking of action, the other Hluttaw shall form a Body to investigate this charge.
- The President or the Vice-President shall have the right to refuse the charge himself in person or through a representative when it is investigated.
- If, after the investigation, not less than two-thirds of the total number of representatives of the Hluttaw which investigated the charge or caused the investigation to be initiated passed the resolution that the charge has been substantiated and renders the President or the Vice-President unfit to continue in office, the Hluttaw concerned shall submit to the Head of the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw such resolution to remove the impeached President or the impeached Vice-President from office.
- The Head of the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw shall declare the removal of the President or the Vice-President immediately after the receipt of the submission.
- The President or any of the Vice-Presidents shall be allowed to resign from office of his own volition before the expiry of the term of office.
Head of state replacement, Deputy executive
- One of the two Vice-Presidents who has won the second highest votes in the Presidential election shall serve as Acting President if the office of the President falls vacant due to his resignation, death, permanent disability or any other cause.
- If the office of the President becomes vacant when the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw is in session, the Acting President shall promptly intimate the Head of the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw to fill the vacancy within seven days.
- On receipt of the intimation from the Acting President, the Head of the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw shall proceed to elect a Vice-President by the group of Hluttaw representatives concerned that initially elected the Vice-President who subsequently got elected President, the office now being vacant.
- After the group of Hluttaw representatives concerned has elected a Vice-President, the Electoral College comprising all the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw representatives shall elect the President from among the three Vice-Presidents.
- If the office of the President becomes vacant when the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw is not in session, the Head of the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw shall summon the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw within 21 days from the day of receipt of the intimation from the Acting President and proceed to hold election to fill the vacant office of the President in accord with the above procedure.
- If the office of a Vice-President becomes vacant before the expiry of the term by reason of his resignation, death, permanent disability or any other cause when the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw is in session, the President shall promptly intimate the Head of the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw to elect a Vice-President within seven days by the group of Hluttaw representatives concerned that elected the said Vice-President.
- When the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw is not in session, the Head of the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw shall summon the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw within 21 days from the day of receipt of the intimation from the President and proceed with the election of a Vice-President by the group of Hluttaw representatives concerned in accord with the prescribed procedure.
Constitution amendment procedure
Chapter XII. Amendment of the Constitution
- Any provision of this Constitution may be amended in the manner herein after provided:
- the proposal to amend the Constitution shall be submitted in the form of a Bill;
- the Bill to amend the Constitution shall not contain other proposals.
- The Bill to amend the Constitution shall be submitted to the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw.
- If twenty percent of the total number of the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw representatives submit the Bill to amend the Constitution, it shall be considered by the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw.
If it is necessary to amend the provisions of Sections 1 to 48 in Chapter I, Sections 49 to 56 in Chapter II, Sections 59 and 60 in Chapter III, Sections 74, 109, 141 and 161 in Chapter IV, Sections 200, 201, 248 and 276 in Chapter V, Sections 293, 294, 305, 314 and 320 in Chapter VI, Sections 410 to 432 in Chapter XI and Sections 436 in Chapter XII of this Constitution, it shall be amended with the prior approval of more than seventy-five percent of all the representatives of the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw, after which in a nation-wide referendum only with the votes of more than half of those who are eligible to vote.
- Provisions other than those mentioned in Sub-Section (a) shall be amended only by a vote of more than seventy-five percent of all the representatives of the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw.
Oaths to abide by constitution, Reference to fraternity/solidarity
SCHEDULE 4. Form of Oaths or Affirmation (Refer to Section 125)
I ................ do solemnly and sincerely promise that as an elected representative of the Pyithu Hluttaw/ the Amyotha Hluttaw/ the Region or State Hluttaw, I will uphold and abide by the Constitution of the Union. I will be loyal to the Republic of the Union of Myanmar and citizenry and hold always in esteem non-disintegration of the Union, non-disintegration of national solidarity and perpetuation of sovereignty. In addition, I will carry out the responsibilities uprightly to the best of my ability.
Subsidiary unit government
SCHEDULE 5. Taxes Collected by Region or States (Refer to Section 254)
- Land revenue.
- Excise revenue.
- Water tax and embankment tax based on dams and reservoirs managed by the Region or State and tax on use of electricity generated by such facilities managed by the Region or State.
- Toll fees from using roads and bridges managed by the Region or State.
- Royalty collected on fresh water fisheries.
- Royalty collected on marine fisheries within the permitted range of territorial water.
- Taxes collected on vehicles on road transport and vessels on inland waterway transport, in accord with law, in a Region or a State.
- Proceeds, rent fees and other profits from those properties owned by a Region or a State.
- Fees, taxes and other revenues collected on services enterprises by a Region or a State.
- Fines imposed by judicial courts in a Region or a State including Region Taya Hluttaw or State Taya Hluttaw and taxes collected on service provision and other revenues.
- Interests from disbursed by a Region or State.
- Profits returned from investment of a Region or State.
- Taxes collected on extraction of the following items from the forests in a Region or a State:
- Taxes collected on all other woods except teak and other restricted hard woods;
- Taxes collected on firewood, charcoal, rattan, bamboo, birdnests, cutch, thanetkha, turpentine, eaglewood and honey-based products.
- Registration fees.
- Taxes on entrainments.
- Salt tax.
- Revenue received from the Union Fund Account.
- Contributions by development affairs organizations in a Region or State concerned.
- Unclaimed cash and property.
- Treasure trove.