PRESIDENT U Thein Sein last week submitted his declaration of a state of emergency in Rakhine State to the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw, asking MPs to approve its imposition until order has been completely restored in the region.

Order No 1/2012, issued on June 10, was submitted to the hluttaw on the president’s behalf by Minister for Border Affairs and Myanma Industrial Development Lieutenant General Thein Htay on July 4, the first day of the fourth session of the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw. It is expected to be discussed late this week.

The order was issued under section 410 of the constitution, which states: “If the president learns that or if the respective local administrative body submits that the administrative functions cannot be carried out in accord with the constitution in a region or a state or a union territory or a self-administered area, he may, after coordinating with the National Defence and Security Council, promulgate an ordinance and declare a state of emergency.”

In issuing the order, the president cited the crimes and ethnic riots that broke out from June 8 to 10 and said that the assistance of the Tatmadaw was being sought under section 413(a) to help restore stability and administration of the region to normal. A curfew had already been put in place under section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.

In presenting the proposal, Lt Gen Thein Htay explained the developments in Rakhine State at length, from the rape and murder of a 28-year-old woman on May 28 to the declaration of the state of emergency in order to restore stability and end the communal violence.

“On behalf of the president, I hereby present a proposal for the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw’s approval of Order No 1/2012, which has the same power as a law, according to section 412(a) of the constitution, so that is has the force of law until Rakhine State returns to stability,” Lt Gen Thein Htay said.

“In section 212(b) of the constitution, it is stated that if the president does not withdraw an order that has the same power as a law he shall seek approval from the nearest possible Pyidaungsu Hluttaw session held within 60 days after the order is issued. If there is no Pyidaungsu Hluttaw session within 60 days, approval should be sought from an extraordinary Pyidaungsu Hluttaw session which is to be convened. “

Pyidaungsu Hluttaw Speaker U Khin Aung Myint said the hluttaw would discuss the order this week.

“A member of the Union Government assigned by the president, with certain compelling reasons, has presented a proposal according to by-law 112(d) to approve Order No 1/2012 of the president,” U Khin Aung Myin said.

“This proposal will be discussed by representatives according to by-law 113(a) to have hluttaw’s decision on whether the order should be approved or not. If any representative wants to join the discussion, they can give their name to the director-general of the Hluttaw Office by 4pm on July 12. The date on which the discussion will take place and list of those who will join the discussion will be announced later,” he told the hluttaw.