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  • » 10/23/2014, 00.00

    MYANMAR

    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 436.

    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 November.

     

     

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    See also

    14/08/2014 MYANMAR
    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.

    30/03/2010 MYANMAR
    The party of Aung San Suu Kyi will not participate in elections
    The Council of the National League for Democracy (NLD) has decided not to register for elections. The decision was unanimous. The Vice Chairman confirms the intention to continue fighting for democracy and human rights. Opposing reactions among the Burmese.

    31/03/2010 MYANMAR
    Burmese leader fears harsh military crackdown
    Win Tin believes that Myanmar’s ruling military junta will crackdown on the National League for Democracy. He anticipates the government to outlaw the party, but is certain that the opposition will continue the struggle “to dismantle the entire military dictatorship”. Tokyo announces a freeze on aid to Myanmar until Aung San Suu Kyi’s release.

    26/02/2010 MYANMAR
    The Supreme Court upholds sentence for Aung San Suu Kyi
    The judges rejected her lawyers arguments. The "Lady" will remain confined until November and will not participate in elections. The lawyer for the Nobel Peace Laureate appeals to the Minister for Justice. NLD spokesman: The ruling confirms that the vote will not be "inclusive, just and free."

    12/11/2010 MYANMAR
    Burmese junta sign release order, Aung San Suu Kyi soon free
    The leader of the Burmese opposition should be released Friday afternoon. At 5 pm, a press conference is scheduled at the NLD headquarters where hundreds of supporters have already gathered. The authorities tighten security measures around Suu Kyi’s home. Indian Christian activists welcome the news with joy, call for democracy in the country.



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