THE SOCIALIST REPUBLIC OF THE UNION OF BURMA
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Constitution of the Socialist Republic of the Union of Burma
CHAPTER I THE STATE
CHAPTER II BASIC PRINCIPLES
CHAPTER III STATE STRUCTURE
CHAPTER III STATE STRUCTURE
CHAPTER V COUNCIL OF STATE
CHAPTER VI COUNCIL OF MINISTERS
CHAPTER VII COUNCIL OF PEOPLE'S JUSTICES
CHAPTER VIII COUNCIL OF PEOPLE'S ATTORNEYS
CHAPTER IX COUNCIL OF PEOPLE'S INSPECTORS
CHAPTER X PEOPLE'S COUNCILS
CHAPTER XI FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS AN DUTIES OF CITIZENS
CHAPTER XII ELECTORAL SYSTEM
CHAPTER XIII RECALL, RESIGNATION AND REPLACEMENT
CHAPTER XIV STATE FLAG, STATE SEAL, NATIONAL ANTHEM,
AND STATE CAPITAL
CHAPTER XV AMENDMENT OF THE CONSTITUTION
CHAPTER XVI GENERAL PROVISIONS
XVI GENERAL PROVISIONS
the people residing in the Socialist Republic of the Union of Burma have
throughout history lived in harmony and unity sharing joys and sorrows
in weal or woe.
people of the land have endeavored with perseverance and undaunted courage,
for the attainment of independence, displaying throughout their struggles
for national liberation against imperialism an intense patriotism, spirit
of mutual help and sacrifice and have aspired to Democracy and Socialism.
attaining independence, the power and influence of the feudalists, landlords,
and capitalists had increased and consolidated due to the defects in the
old Constitution and the ill-effects of capitalistic parliamentary democracy.
The cause of Socialism came under near eclipse.
order to overcome this deterioration and to build Socialism, the Revolutionary
Council of the Union of Burma assumed responsibility as a historical mission,
adopted the Burmese Way to Socialism, and also formed the Burma Socialist
Burma Socialist Programme Party has drafted the Constitution of the Socialist
Republic of the Union of Burma, in accordance with the wishes of the people,
after extensive and thorough discussions with them, for the purpose of
building a peaceful and prosperous socialist society to which the working
people of the national races have long aspired.
the working people, firmly resolved that we shall-
follow the leadership of the Burma Socialist Programme Party,
build a socialist economic system by the Burmese Way to Socialism,
for the country to be peaceful and prosperous, opposing all pernicious
systems characterized by exploitation of man by man, and of one national
race by another, with a view to promoting justice and goodwill among
the people, and to freeing them from apathy and callousness, ignorance,
backwardness and want of opportunity,
build a socialist democratic social order which will afford an opportunity
to the people to shape their own destiny, by the Burmese Way to Socialism,
live forever in harmony unity and racial equality sharing joys and
sorrows through weal and woe in the Socialist Republic of the Union
perform all duties and fulfil all obligations in the interest of the
State and for the cause of Socialism while enjoying the democratic
rights and personal rights and freedom bestowed by this Constitution,
constantly strive to promote international peace and friendly relations
among the nations, do adopt this Constitution of the Socialist Republic
of the Union of Burma by a nation-wide referendum this IIth day of
the waxing of Pyatho of the year 1335 B.E. (the 3rd day of the month
of January, 1974 A.D.).
Burma is a
sovereign independent Socialist State of the working people. The State
shall be known as The Socialist Republic of the Union of Burma.
Socialist Republic of the Union of Burma is a State wherein various national
races make their homes together.
territory of the State shall be the land, sea and airspace which constitute
its territory on the day this Constitution is adopted.
sovereignty shall reside in the entire State.
society is the goal of the State.
economic system of the State is a Socialist economic system.
democracy is the basis of the State structure.
shall be no exploitation of man by man nor of one national race by another
in the State.
State safeguards the interests of the working people whose strength is
based on peasants and workers.
State shall cultivate and promote the all-round physical, intellectual
and moral development of youth.
State shall adopt a single-party system. The Burma Socialist Programme
Party is the sole political party and it shall lead the State.
sovereign powers of the State, legislative, executive and judicial reside
in the people, comprising all national races whose strength is based on
peasants and workers. The Pyithu Hluttaw1, elected by citizens having
the right to vote, exercises the sovereign power invested in it by the
people and delegates to Organs of State Power in accordance with this
Pyithu Hluttaw shall exercise the legislative power solely by itself while
it may delegate executive and judicial powers to the Central and Local
Organs of State Power formed under this Constitution.
Organs of State Power at different levels shall function in accordance
with socialist democratic practices which include mutual reporting, mutually
offering, accepting and respecting of advice and wishes, collective leadership,
collective decision making, abiding by collective decisions, lower organs
carrying out the decisions and directives of the higher organs which in
turn respect the views submitted by the lower organs.
citizen has, in accordance with this Constitution and other relevant laws,
the right to-
(a) elect, and to be elected as, people's representatives to the Organs
of State Power at different levels;
(b) recall elected people's representatives.
people's representative, elected to any Organ of State Power, shall report
back to the electorate on his work and shall also ascertain the wishes
of the people.
working people shall have full participation in local matters, so that
such matters may be resolved as far as possible, at the local level. They
shall be invested with duties and powers.
(a) is the ultimate owner of all natural resources above and below the
ground, above and beneath the waters and in the atmosphere, and also of
all the lands;
(b) shall develop, extract, exploit and utilize the natural resources
in the interest of the working people of all the national races.
State shall nationalize the means of production within the land. Suitable
enterprises shall be owned and operated by co-operatives.
State may, in accordance with law, permit such private enterprises which
do not undermine the socialist economic system.
The State shall be responsible for constantly developing and promoting
unity, mutual assistance, amity and mutual respect among the national
(b) The national races shall enjoy the freedom to profess their religion,
use and develop their language, literature and culture, follow their cherished
traditions and customs, provided that the enjoyment of any such freedom
does not offend the laws or the public interest.
be equal before the law, regardless of race, religion, status, or sex;
(b) enjoy equal opportunities;
(c) enjoy the benefits derived from his labor in proportion to his contribution
in manual or mental labor;
(d) have the right to inherit according to law.
penal law shall have retrospective effect.
shall not be awarded in violation of human dignity.
shall be enacted to enforce the freedoms, powers, rights, duties and restrictions
prescribed by this Constitution.
State consistently practices an independent foreign policy, aimed at international
peace and friendly relations among nations, and upholds the principles
of peaceful co-existence of nations.
basic principles constitute the guidelines for interpreting the provisions
of this Constitution and of other laws.
 People’s Congress
autonomy under central leadership is the system of the State.
Local areas of the Socialist Republic of the Union of Burma shall be organized
(1) villages are organized as village-tracts;
(2) wards are organized as towns;
(3) village-tracts and towns are organized as townships;
(4) townships are organized as states or divisions;
(5) states and divisions are organized as the State.
(b) The different levels of administrative areas of the Socialist Republic
of the Union of Burma shall be as follows:-
(1) wards or village-tracts;
(3) states or divisions;
(4) the State.
Kawthoolei is constituted as Karen State;
(b) Chin Special Division is constituted as Chin State;
(c) Tenasserim Division (I) is constituted as Mon State;
(d) Tenasserim Division (2) is constituted as Tenasserim Division;
(e) Arakan Division is constituted as Arakan State.
States and Divisions of the Socialist Republic of the Union of Burma are
(a) Kachin State
(b) Kayah State
(c) Karen State
(d) Chin State
(e) Sagaing Division
(f) Tenasserim Division
(g) Pegu Division
(h) Magwe Division
(i) Mandalay Division
(j) Mon State
(k) Arakan State
(l) Rangoon Division
(m) Shan State
(n) Irrawaddy Division.
Socialist Republic of the Union of Burma has a unicameral Pyithu Hluttaw.
Council of State shall be formed for the purpose of directing, supervising
and co-ordinating the works of the Central and Local Organs of State Power
and of the Bodies of Public Services in accordance with the laws, rules
and resolutions passed by the Pyithu Hluttaw.
following Central Organs of State Power shall be formed to carry out the
tasks laid down by the Pyithu Hluttaw:-
(a) The Council of Ministers;
(b) The Council of People's Justices;
(c) The Council of People's Attorneys;
(d) The Council of People's Inspectors.
People's Council shall be formed for each State, Division, Township, Ward
An Executive Committee, a Committee of Judges and an Inspection Committee
shall be formed for each State, Division, or Township People's Council.
(b) An Executive Committee and a Committee of Judges shall be formed for
each Ward or Village-tract People's Council.
of Public Services, such as bodies of Public Administrative Services,
Judicial Services, Law Services and Accounts Services shall be formed
where necessary at central and local levels.
Pyithu Hluttaw may, in the interests of the State re-demarcate the territorial
limits of the State by a vote of 75 per cent of all the members of the
Pyithu Hluttaw may make laws to-
(a) reconstitute States or Divisions as the need arises, after ascertaining
the wishes of the citizens residing in the States or Divisions concerned;
(b) re-demarcate the boundary of any State or Division, as the need arises,
after ascertaining the wishes of the citizens residing in the States or
(c) change the name of any State or Division, as the need arises, after
ascertaining the wishes of citizens residing in the State or Division
Council of Ministers may constitute or reconstitute villages, village-tracts,
wards, towns and townships within a State or Division, as the need arises,
in consultation with the People's Councils concerned.
Pyithu Hluttaw is the highest Organ of state power. It exercises the sovereign
powers of the State on behalf of the people.
Pyithu Hluttaw shall be formed with People's representatives elected directly
by secret ballot by citizens who have the right to vote under this Constitution
and other electoral laws.
regular term of the Pyithu Hluttaw is four years from the date of its
legislative power of the State is vested solely in the Pyithu Hluttaw.
Pyithu Hluttaw may delegate executive and judicial powers of the State
to Central and Local Organs of State Power in accordance with this Constitution.
Pyithu Hluttaw shall have the right to enact laws concerning the culture
of a national race only with the consent of more than half of all the
members of the Pyithu Hluttaw from the State or Division concerned.
Pyithu Hluttaw shall have exclusive power to enact laws relating to State
economic plans, annual budget and taxation.
Pyithu Hluttaw shall decide-
(a) important matters only by a vote of 75 per cent of all of its members;
(b) ordinary matters by a vote of more than half of all its members;
(c) as to whether any matter is important or ordinary by a vote of more
than half of the members present.