» 08/14/2014, 00.00
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.
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
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.
Three million sign petition for constitutional reforms in Myanmar
Organizers seek amendments of Art. 436, which gives the military the power to veto reforms, and Art. 59 (F) that would prevent Aung San Suu Kyi from becoming president. The campaign began May 27 and ends on July 19. At least 600 thousand signatures in one area of Yangon.
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.
15/03/2016 09:46:00 MYANMAR
Aung San Suu Kyi loyalist, Kyaw Htin, Myanmar’s new president
The National League for Democracy (NLD) deputy, is the first civilian to occupy the position since 1962. Elected today with 360 votes out of 652, he defeated a fellow party member and the junta candidate, who will be vice-presidents.
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UN rapporteur Pinheiro emphasises that the opposition must be allowed to campaign, and international observers must be admitted to the voting. But he concludes that there are no signs of change. The constitution seems to do nothing but give an appearance of legitimacy to the military dictatorship.
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