Yangon (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The Burmese opposition today filed a petition in Parliament asking to remove the military veto to carry out reforms of the Constitution. Nyan Win, spokesman of the National League for Democracy (NLD), points out that the document was signed by "five million" people who want a fundamental change in the Charter, to allow Aung San Suu Kyi to run for presidency.
The campaign was organized by the party of opposition leader and Nobel Peace Prize winner Suu Kyi, in collaboration with the Peace movement and Open Society (88Gpos), led by a group of activists, who led the student revolt in 1988 against the dictatorship. They intend to amend Article. 436 which leaves control over reforms with the military leadership - through their representatives in Parliament.
Under the highly criticised Article, any constitutional changes in Myanmar need the support of more than 75% of the deputies. However, the Charter written and approved in 2008 in an emergency caused by Cyclone Nargis - which killed hundreds of thousands of Burmese - assigns 25% of the seats to the military who are allocated seats without direct election. Besides, the ruling party - Union for Solidarity and Development (USDP) - is a direct offshoot of the former junta in power until 2011, and responds directly to orders from higher echelons of the army.
Last week, the student leader Ko Ko Gyi said that "without removing the military veto, any important charter change that they don't want could not be achieved," student leader Ko Ko Gyi said last week. As the petition has no legal effect on parliament, lawmakers could ignore the effort. But I believe parliament will pay attention to the petition," added the activist.
The same Shwe Mann, Speaker of the House and leader of the USPD, likely challenger to Aung San Suu Kyi for the presidency in 2015 - recognizes that if the "Lady" is able to participate - the initiative could have a some effect, despite having disavowed her no later than two months ago.
The NLD is also calling for a change to another article of the Constitution, which prohibits its leader from running for the position of head of state because his two sons are not citizens of Myanmar.
This norm, as well as that of the military veto, could have been specifically designed to relegate Burma's most representative figure who spent 15 years under house arrest because of her fight for democracy, to the margins of political and institutional life.