» 10/23/2014, 00.00
Burmese military wants to retain veto power of constitutional reforms
With 25% of the seats allocated to them by law, the military control the country and all modern and democratic reform in society. Issues in dispute include Art. 59 (F) which prevents Aung San Suu Kyi becoming president and Art. 436, on the military veto. The next elections scheduled for late October and early November 2015.
Yangon (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Burmese military leaders,
who still hold the destiny of the nation in their hands, are opposed to any amendment
to the Constitution - proposed in recent months - to deny them power of veto on
changes and amendments to the Charter . This is , according to a parliamentary panel of "wise men" tasked with reviewing the country's military-written constitution approved in May 2008 during a national emergency caused
by Cyclone Nargis.
The most controversial points, include "ad personam"
norm - Article 59 (F) of the Constitution - which
prevents Aung San Suu Kyi, a Nobel laureate and leader of the
opposition National League for Democracy (NLD), to run for the presidency of Myanmar.
The 31 members of the group, created in February,
presented the final report to the Assembly a few days ago, with the proposed
amendments to the Charter put forward by all parties in the political spectrum,
including human rights organizations, movements, activists and the army. Parliament
will discuss the various points, including the infamous
article 436 which gives veto power to the military leaders. Article 436
effectively gives the military, which controls 25 percent of seats in
parliament, a veto over constitutional amendments, since it requires more than
75 percent of parliamentary representatives to approve any change.
Aung San Suu Kyi sees removing veto power as the first step to real democratic
reform; for the military leaders in Parliament, however, the controversial norm
"should be maintained in its original form". And the ruling party, the
Union Solidarity Development Party (USDP), a direct offshoot of the former military
junta, has granted "conditional" approval of the amendment of Article
According to the amendment proposed by the NLD, future changes in the Charter may
be made if there is the consent of 75% of elected MPs (therefore, excluding the
military), or more than half of the total assembly, in this case including the 25
% reserved to ex-army officials. The second step is the ratification by
citizens in a referendum.
In recent days, the election committee said that the next general elections,
scheduled in 2015, will be held in the last week of October or the first of
Yangon, five million signatures for Aung San Suu Kyi as President
The Burmese opposition has filed a petition in Parliament, asking to amend Art. 436 of the Constitution. This requires military approval for any amendments to the Charter, which prevents the Nobel Peace Prize from running for the position.
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