Assembly of the Union

ပြည်ထောင်စု လွှတ်တော်

Pyidaungsu Hluttaw
Coat of arms or logo
HousesAmyotha Hluttaw
Pyithu Hluttaw
Founded31 January 2011 (2011-01-31)
Preceded byPeople's Assembly (1974–1988)
T Khun Myat
since 1 August 2018
since 31 January 2021
T Khun Myat
since 22 March 2018
224 Amyotha Hluttaw MPs
440 Pyithu Hluttaw MPs
Last Amyotha Hluttaw election
8 November 2020 (annulled)
Last Pyithu Hluttaw election
8 November 2020 (annulled)
Meeting place
Pyidaungsu Hluttaw, Naypyidaw

The Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (Burmese: ပြည်ထောင်စု လွှတ်တော် [pjìdàʊɰ̃zṵ l̥ʊʔtɔ̀] lit. Assembly of the Union) is the de jure national-level bicameral legislature of Myanmar (officially known as the Republic of the Union of Myanmar) established by the 2008 National Constitution. The Pyidaungsu Hluttaw is made up of two houses, the 224-seat Amyotha Hluttaw, or "House of Nationalities", and the 440-seat Pyithu Hluttaw, or House of People's Representatives. There is no mention in the 2008 Constitution of any ‘lower’ or ‘upper’ houses: both the Pyithu Hluttaw and the Amyotha Hluttaw enjoy equal power to initiate, review, amend, and pass legislation.[1]

Each of the fourteen major administrative regions and states has its own local Hluttaw: Region Hluttaw (Region Assembly) or State Hluttaw (State Assembly).

The Pyidaungsu Hluttaw is housed in a 31-building parliamentary complex.[2] It is believed to represent the 31 planes of existence in Buddhist cosmology, located in Zeya Theddhi Ward of Naypyidaw.[3]

Members of the second Pyidaungsu Hluttaw were elected in the 8 November 2015 general election. On 16 March 2012, parliamentarians made the decision for the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw to re-join the IPU.[4]

After the coup d'état on 1 February 2021, the Assembly was dissolved by Acting President Myint Swe, who declared a one-year state of emergency and transferred all legislative powers to Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services Min Aung Hlaing.[5]

the speaker Khin Aung Myint during the session of Hluttaw


Pre-colonial era

The hluttaw (Burmese: လွှတ်တော် [l̥ʊʔtɔ̀], lit. "delegation of royal [duties]") historically refers to the council of ministers in the king's court in pre-colonial Burma (Myanmar). Hluttaw's origins trace back to the Pagan era when King Htilominlo (r. 1211–1235) created a privy council of senior ministers to manage the day-to-day affairs of the government.[6]

During the Konbaung dynasty, the hluttaw was the centre of government and the kingdom's national administrative body, divided into three branches, namely fiscal, executive, and judicial (Since the colonial times, hluttaw has been used to describe a parliament or legislative body.) The Byedaik (ဗြဲတိုက်) acted as the Privy Council, maintaining the inner affairs of the royal court, whereas the Hluttaw managed the kingdom's government.[7] The Hluttaw, as tradition, also had the duty of selecting the heir-apparent, whenever the incumbent king did not select one.[8]

In the Konbaung dynasty, the Hluttaw was in session for 6 hours daily, from 6 to 9 am, and from noon to 3 pm, attended by ministers (မင်းကြီး, Mingyi), ministers of third rank (ဝန်ထောက်, Wundauk), and head clerks (စာရေးကြီး, Sayegyi), as well as interior ministers (အတွင်းဝန်, Atwin Wun), who sat in the Byedaik.[9] It was tradition for the king to appoint four ministers, four interior ministers and four officers.[9]

British Burma

Main articles: Legislative Council of Burma and Legislature of Burma

On 2 January 1923, with the enactment of the Montagu–Chelmsford Reforms, Burma became a Governor's Province with a partially elected legislative council, the Legislative Council of Burma, consisting of 103 seats, with 80 filled by election.[10]

The 1935 Government of Burma Act established the Legislature of Burma. During this period, the colonial Legislature consisted of two chambers, the 36-seat Senate and the 132-seat House of Representatives.[11]

Union of Burma

Main article: Union Parliament

From 1947 to 1962, under the 1947 Constitution, Burma's legislature, called the Union Parliament, consisted of two chambers, the 125-seat Lumyozu Hluttaw (the Chamber of Nationalities) and the 250-seat Pyithu Hluttaw; (the Chamber of Deputies), whose seat numbers were determined by the population size of respective constituencies.[12]

Socialist Republic of the Union of Burma

Main article: People's Assembly (Burma)

From 1962 to 1974, there was no functional hluttaw in existence, as the ruling government was the socialist Union Revolutionary Council (RC).

From 1974 to 1988, under the 1974 Constitution, Burma's legislative branch was a one-party toy parliament consisting of a unicameral chamber, the Pyithu Hluttaw (the People's Assembly), represented by members of the Burma Socialist Programme Party.[13] Each term was four years. (In August 2010, the old Hluttaw complex on Yangon's Pyay Road used by Gen. Ne Win's military government was slated for occupation by Yangon Division government offices.)[14]

Union of Myanmar

Between 1988 and 2011, there was no functional hluttaw, as the ruling government was the State Peace and Development Council.


Pyidaungsu Hluttaw composition

  Elected; 330 Pyithu Hluttaw seats (50%)
  Elected; 168 Amyotha Hluttaw seats (25%)
  Unelected military appointments; 110 Pyithu Hluttaw seats (17%)
  Unelected military appointments; 56 Amyotha Hluttaw seats (8%)

The Pyidaungsu Hluttaw is a bicameral body made up of a 440-seat House of Representatives (Pyithu Hluttaw) and the 224-seat House of Nationalities (Amyotha Hluttaw). The Pyidaungsu Hluttaw consists of 664 members total. 75% of MPs (498 members) are directly elected by voters, while the remaining 25% (166 members) are military personnel appointed by the Defence Services' Commander-in-Chief.[15] This policy is similar to Indonesia's New Order model (as part of the dwifungsi doctrine), which guaranteed a number of parliamentary seats to military appointees.[16]

Amyotha Hluttaw

The Amyotha Hluttaw is the upper house of the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw, with 12 seats accorded to each Region or State for a total of 168 directly elected seats. Of the 224 seats in the house, the remaining 56 are military appointees nominated by the Commander-in-Chief of the Defence Services.

Pyithu Hluttaw

The Pyithu Hluttaw is the lower house of the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw, with seats accorded to each of the 330 townships in the country. Of the 440 seats in this body, 330 are directly elected and 110 are military appointees nominated by the Commander-in-Chief of the Defence Services.


Burmese elections are held under universal suffrage for all Burmese citizens above the age of 18 and on a given constituency's roll of eligible voters. Voters are constitutionally guaranteed the right to vote via secret ballot. However, members of religious orders (including members of the Buddhist Sangha), prisoners, mentally unsound persons, and indebted persons are not allowed to vote for members of Parliament. Voting is not compulsory.[17] Burmese elections practise the First-past-the-post voting system (winner takes all), in which the candidate who receives the highest number of votes is elected.[18]

In the 2010 election, state media reported a voter turnout of 77.26%.[19] Advance voting was also widely practised, with military personnel and their family members, as well as civil servants, police force personnel and other state employees instructed to vote in advance.[20] This was in violation of the 2010 electoral laws, which only allow advance voting for eligible voters who are away from their constituencies, as well as overseas Burmese citizens.[20] In some constituencies, up to 95% of cast ballots were done in advance.[21] An estimated 10% of votes (6 million) were cast in advance.[22] There were also reports of multiple voter fraud, voter manipulation, ghost voting and coerced voting, in which individuals were pressured to vote for Union Solidarity and Development Party candidates by officials.[21][23]


Chamber of Deputies (Pyithu Hluttaw) in Post-independence Burma

The two houses of the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw are simultaneously elected, with members of parliament (MPs) serving five-year terms. Ministerial nominees, who are selected from the pool of elected MPs, vacate their parliamentary seats. By-elections, determined by the Union Election Commission, are held to fill these vacant seats.

The first regular session of the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw must be convened within 15 days of the commencement of the Pyithu Hluttaw's first session. At least one regular session must be held per year, and subsequent sessions must be held within 12 months of each other. Special or emergency sessions can be convened by the President. Parliamentary sessions are only valid if 25% or more MPs are present.[citation needed]

The first session of the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw was held from January to March 2011, while the second was held from 22 August 2011 to.[24] Journalists were not allowed to attend the first session. However, the Ministry of Information announced on 12 August 2011 that they would be permitted to attend the second session.[25]

See also


  1. ^ Egreteau, Renaud (2022). Crafting Parliament in Myanmar's Disciplined Democracy, 2011-2021). Oxford University Press. pp. 56. ISBN 9780192858740.
  2. ^ Egreteau, Renaud (17 October 2017). "Power, Cultural Nationalism, and Postcolonial Public Architecture: Building a Parliament House in Post-Independence Myanmar". Commonwealth and Comparative Politics. 55 (4): 531–550. doi:10.1080/14662043.2017.1323401. ISSN 1743-9094. S2CID 158971545.
  3. ^ Aung Zaw (February 2010). "No Escape from the 31 Planes of Existence". Retrieved 13 June 2020.
  4. ^ Soe Than Lynn (26 March 2012). "Pyidaungsu Hluttaw to join International Parliamentary Union". Myanmar Times. Archived from the original on 27 June 2013. Retrieved 27 March 2012.
  5. ^
  6. ^ Maung Htin Aung (1967). A History of Burma. New York and London: Cambridge University Press. pp. 50–54.
  7. ^ The making of modern Burma, Thant Myint-U, p. 66.
  8. ^ The making of modern Burma, Thant Myint-U, p. 154-55.
  9. ^ a b Taw Sein Ko (1913). Burmese Sketches. Rangoon: British Burma Press.
  10. ^ Maung Maung (2012). Burma's Constitution. Springer Science & Business Media. ISBN 9789401188906.
  11. ^ Government of Burma Act (1935), Part III: The Legislature.
  12. ^ The Constitution of the Union of Burma (1947), Chapter VI: Parliament
  13. ^ The Constitution of the Socialist Republic of the Union of Burma (1974), Chapter IV: Pyithu Hluttaw
  14. ^ "ရန်ကုန်တိုင်း စုပေါင်းရုံးမှ ဌာနအချို့ ပြည်လမ်းမပေါ်ရှိ ယခင်လွှတ်တော် အဆောက်အအုံသို့ ပြောင်းရွှေ့မည်". Weekly Eleven News (in Burmese). 23 August 2010. Retrieved 23 August 2010.
  15. ^ "New Burma constitution published". BBC News. 9 April 2008. Retrieved 10 May 2008.
  16. ^ Seekins, Donald M. (2006). Historical dictionary of Burma (Myanmar). Scarecrow Press. pp. 321. ISBN 978-0-8108-5476-5.
  17. ^ "Tensions Cloud Myanmar Vote". Wall Street Journal. 23 August 2010. Retrieved 21 August 2011.
  18. ^ "ELECTORAL SYSTEM". Alternative Asean Network on Burma. Archived from the original on 20 August 2011. Retrieved 21 August 2011.
  19. ^ Maw Maw San (13 December 2010). "Election turnout higher than 1990". Myanmar Times. Archived from the original on 16 July 2011. Retrieved 21 August 2011.
  20. ^ a b Htet Aung (4 November 2010). "Advance Voting Abuses Rampant". The Irrawaddy. Retrieved 21 August 2011.
  21. ^ a b Whelan, Ryan D. (February 2011). "Burma Election 2010: An Election of Generals" (PDF). Bangkok: Thai Action Committee for Democracy in Burma. ((cite journal)): Cite journal requires |journal= (help)[permanent dead link]
  22. ^ "Myanmar's Post-Election Landscape". Jakarta: International Crisis Group. 7 March 2011. ((cite journal)): Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  23. ^ Tint Swe (11 November 2011). "Burmese junta rigged vote through advanced voting". Asia News. Retrieved 21 August 2011.
  24. ^ "First Pyidaungsu Hluttaw second regular session summoned" (PDF). New Light of Myanmar. XIX (102). 1 August 2011.
  25. ^ Shwe Yinn Mar Oo (15 August 2011). "Journalists allowed to attend hluttaw sessions: government". Myanmar Times. Archived from the original on 17 September 2011. Retrieved 21 August 2011.

19°46′28″N 96°6′13″E / 19.77444°N 96.10361°E / 19.77444; 96.10361