Myanmar Election Commission Warns Suu Kyi Over ‘Challenging the Army’

Burma Election Commission Warns Suu Kyi Over ‘Challenging the Army’

A “warning letter” says the National League for Democracy chairwoman’s recent comments at a rally for constitutional change violated her oath to Parliament. (Photo: Teza Hlaing / The Irrawaddy)

RANGOON — Burma’s Union Election Commission (UEC) has issued a warning to opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi over her challenge to the country’s military to amend the 2008 Constitution.

Suu Kyi has been speaking around the country in recent weeks as part of a campaign—led by her National League for Democracy (NLD) and the 88 Generation Peace and Open Society former students group—to have the charter amended to remove the military’s veto on constitutional amendments.

In a letter posted on Facebook by an NLD staffer on Monday, the UEC said that during a rally in Mandalay on May 18, Suu Kyi appeared to violate an oath she made when she became a parliamentarian in 2012 and the charter’s rules for Burmese political parties.

“We are doing this not to gain power, nor to get any special opportunity. I want the army to prove that they wish to amend this Constitution,” the statement quoted Suu Kyi saying.

The comments, the statement said, amounted to the NLD chairwoman “challenging the army.”

“You are speaking outside of the boundaries of the Constitution,” the letter to Suu Kyi, signed by UEC Secretary Tin Tun, said.

The oath read by those joining Parliament includes a pledge to “uphold and abide by the Constitution.” Chapter 10 of the Constitution—which was drafted by Burma’s former military regime—demands that political parties must “abide by and respect this Constitution and the existing laws.”

UEC Director Hla Maung Cho told The Irrawaddy that the letter was “just a warning” to the opposition leader.

“We sent a warning letter to her because we found that she condemned the army,” he said.

Win Myint, a member of the NLD’s central committee, said the speech did not violate the oath or the Constitution.

“I do not see that Daw Aung San Suu Kyi violated the law in her speech. She only asked the army to demonstrate their wish to amend the Constitution,” said Win Myint.

The 2008 Constitution guarantees the military a place in national politics and gives 25 percent of parliamentary seats to unelected army officials.

Rallies are taking place across the country with the aim of demonstrating public support for amending the charter. The 88 Generation and NLD-led campaign has agreed to first focus on changing Article 436— which demands that three-quarters of the Parliament approve constitutional amendments.

During the Mandalay rally, Suu Kyi said that the current Constitution is not democratic because it grants the military special powers.

“I want to challenge them [military officials] to amend the Constitution within this year, from within the boundaries of the law and via the Parliament. If they truly love the country, respect the citizens: Think of the future of the country and be brave enough,” she told the crowd in Burma’s second-largest city.

16 Responses to Burma Election Commission Warns Suu Kyi Over ‘Challenging the Army’

  1. Tin aye has no right to tell suu kyi and the public to we should do or what we should not do. We the people challenge the army until they give up power. Tin aye and associates are referees but they play the football from the side of army because they are soldiers who kill, rape, loot and torture the people since 1962. We just do not care about this regime. We just do not like this regime.

  2. We the people are ready to storm Naypitaw. Because Suu Kyi and Min Ko Naing are not working for their own personal gain. They campaign for real democracy which is for all of us. So, Suu Kyi and Min Ko Naing cannot be intimidated and they will not back down. If Hlutdaw Members are not supposed to amend the constitution, what are they doing on the floor of Hlutdaw? UEC has no right to tell what Suu Kyi can do or what she cannot do. Free and fair election is UEC’s job. Campaigning for reform and campaigning for constitutional amendment must be the right of every citizen including Suu Kyi and we the public. Period. Asshole Tun Aye better shut up his smelly mouth.

  3. After the warning,what they going to do? Are the going to military coup again.Empty threat to the power of people.If i hear like that again,I going to sick and vomit.As long as military control the politic, we never get the peace settlement with the ethnic arm resistance.No body trust the military.

  4. UEC is campaigning for regime because UEC is part of USDP regime. We the people will keep fighting until this evil regime is wiped out completely.

  5. Can i say than shwe is not good? Because than shwe does not agree with the all Burmese people’s “will” that than shwe arranges many unqualified child soldiers in our parliament Does it mean “Challenging”
    Does DASSK hold a gun/knife to challenge than shwe’s private army? No.
    Therefore, what is the meaning of “challenging”.
    Anybody in the world can challenge to other in fair fight if there is a unresolved dispute.
    Child soldier ming aung hlaing challenge kachin army without any fair fight because ming aung hlaing use air power. Can Wa army use air power if ming aung hlaing challenge Wa army? YES.
    Those child soldiers have no logical sense because they are trained from notorious DSA and OTS.

    • DASSK said all soldiers must be in the army barracks but those are in Parliament from FOX-than shwe,Killer ( Monks & students & Ethnics). Does it mean ” Challenging”. If the army is rubbish to make the Burma, the world most poorest country for decade and decade, we all will challenge those military thugs.
      Fox should go out to face us for “fair fight”. Fox should not hide in the remote Nay-Pyi-Daw. We, all will challenge you very soon.

  6. From Chapter X
    (b) abide by and respect this Constitution and the existing laws;

    I don’t see Daw Su challenging integrity of Army for blocking chance of amending Constitution was disrespecting to Constitution.
    However, I don’t know about Burma has existing law which prohibiting citizens from criticizing Military. If we have that kind of law and then Burma is heading to another Military Authoritarianism rule. Democracy in Burma is like a mirage.

    If Military wants respect from peoples of Burma and then Military needs to do honorable work for country and peoples of Burma.
    Army never should above of all. Gen Min Aung Hlaing must fix that kind of mentality in Army.
    President U Thein Sein will never achieve long term peace and reconciliation with ethnic minority peoples because of Army. Army moral and ethical standard is falling onto ground and bankrupted under dictator Than Shwe. Than Shwe is one thousand times worst than Ne Win. Than Shwe invented Army as untouchable and Army is above the law. Than Shwe is still controlling Army like a Mafia boss.

    I’m worry about safety of Daw Su and other activist leaders. I hope they will take extra care for security of Daw Su and other activist leader like Min Ko Naing.

    Gen Min Aung Hlaing must do right thing for country and Burmese peoples.
    Burma should be Burma and should not be Thai and Indonesia.

    Current Union Election Commission (UEC) must dismantle and need to form with independent respectable citizens. Current UEC Commissioner and Officers were choosing by former dictator Than Shwe. Those UEC Commissioner and officers are former Army Generals, Amy Officers and (Kyant Phut) members they are still continuing loyal to former dictator Than Shwe.
    Election Commission must be independent and neutral. Burmese peoples do not trust in current Burma’s Election Commission (UEC).

  7. “I want to challenge them [military officials] to amend the Constitution within this year, from within the boundaries of the law and via the Parliament. If they truly love the country, respect the citizens: Think of the future of the country and be brave enough,”
    It’s a true from her heart. One of the Quotation i like to share is “I’m only responsible for what I SAY, not for WHAT YOU understand.”

  8. The people and NLD party should demand,the resignation of chairman and all executive members of Union Election Commission before the 2015 election since they do not understand the election laws and they are biased to the current ruling party.

  9. It was the corrupt Tin Aye who crossed over the line of his duty as chairman of the election commission. He does not understand that in his position and capacity, he cannot do anything either for or against a political party. He has got to be neutral, keeping his work in the boundary of his duty.
    You check your own constitution that permits free speech, and work for amending the constitution.
    ASSK does not take up arms to annul the constitution (like you people are used to). She is a parliamentarian and has the duty as well as the right to speak her mind and do campaign works, in the bounds of the constitution.
    General Tin Aye, kindly note that you are quite visibly supporting the USDP party and the previous military dictatorship. You should now step down and resign from the election election commission. And go back to you barracks.

    • I agrewith you, PB Publico. Tin Aye is blindly handing his hands to USDP. UEC and Tin Aye need to be referee, doing the job without bias. Now, Suu Kyi and NLD receive yellow card for no good reason. Tin Aye and UEC must resign and replace them with persons selected from ethnic groups including the Myanmar. Now, the whole UEC is composed with wolves from military regime.

  10. Go For Gold …….
    Of course is an election challenging, Wirathu challenges the whole country and monks are making politics for everything in Myanmar …. \
    It is now or never and the hot debate for the coming month s need also good and patient listeners ,,– Mr Tin Aye it is not the politician one need to listen to it is the people , not always and all time but at times when a Government announces Democracy, a game with fire will see who will burn at the end its fingers the one which started game democracy as reality after 2010 or the one which fight8ing for this for much longer ,— …….lets see it clear it is NOW or Never so logically go for Gold what ever it cost in a peaceful and democratic way …..I wonder if Mt Tin Aye has an own opinion or is guided ?????

  11. Really? Do they expect from suu kyi to dance according regime’s tune? Even than shwe and khin nyunt could not intimidate her. She had won all the battles against ruthless military dictatorship. She won them with discipline and dignity. The whole world is her witness. Guns and bullets will never defeat the truth. Suu kyi is our truth. Suu kyi is public defender. Regime is lawless and without dignity. Regime is not serving the public but sucking blood of the public. So, regime is vampire. Suu kyi is our fairy.

  12. We are sorry for the inconvenience, but this is a revolution.

  13. We have been called cowards for many years by the Thai’s because we have been to afraid of dying when will we learn that some have to die.

  14. What an audacious statement by Tin Tun and Hla Maung Cho, little nobodies insulting the mother of Myanmar. You may apologise now while you can.

Readers' comments