Suu Kyi Campaign Will Not Influence Constitutional Reform in Parliament: Shwe Mann
BURMA

NLD Campaign Will Not Influence Constitutional Reform in Parliament: Shwe Mann

constitutional reform Myanmar

NLD leader Aung San Suu Kyi and USDP chair and Union Parliament Speaker Shwe Mann hold a joint press conference in Naypyidaw in March. (Photo: JPaing / The Irrawaddy)

RANGOON — Burma’s Union Parliament Speaker Shwe Mann has said that Aung San Suu Kyi’s nationwide public campaign for constitutional reform will not influence parliamentary discussions on the matter.

Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) and the 88 Generation Open and Peace Society have launched a nationwide campaign in recent months calling for amendment of Article 436 of the Constitution.

The popular opposition leader and 88 Generation leaders have held large public rallies in Burma’s major cities and started a petition drive in support of reform on May 27 that had collected 3.3 million signatures by June 30. The petition will run until July 19.

Shwe Mann, chairman of the ruling Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP), said on Thursday that the public campaign, despite its millions of supporters, would not influence lawmakers looking into the issue of constitutional reform.

“They are collecting [signatures for a] petition as they want. [But] this action won’t affect the implementing committee formed by Parliament,” he told reporters during a press conference in Naypyidaw.

Shwe Mann said the Parliamentary Constitutional Amendment Implementation Committee will discuss possible reforms in accordance with instructions provided by Parliament and would therefore not consider the results of the NLD’s public campaign.

Burma’s 2008 charter was drafted by the then-military regime and is widely viewed as undemocratic, as it grants sweeping political powers to the Burma Army, including control over a quarter of all Parliament seats. The unpopular charter also provides immunity from crimes committed under the former regime and Article 59 (f) prevents Suu Kyi from holding the office of the president because her sons are British nationals.

Suu Kyi and the 88 Generation are pushing for amendments to Article 436 as it stipulates amendments to key parts of the Constitution can only take place with support of more than 75 percent of all MPs—a clause that provides effective veto power to military lawmakers who control 25 percent of the legislature.

The ruling USDP, filled with former junta generals who shed their uniforms when they became lawmakers in 2010, is participating in the Parliamentary Constitutional Amendment Implementation Committee. Some of its members, including Shwe Mann, who also eyes the presidency after the 2015 elections, have signaled that they would consider key reforms.

The committee has said it will discuss amending Article 436 and a number of other articles, but it remains to be seen whether fundamental changes will be made that would erode the power of the military.

The committee decided on June 12 that it was unwilling to amend Article 59 (f) after USDP and military MPs on the committee reportedly blocked the idea, landing a blow to Suu Kyi’s hopes of holding presidential office

The 31-member committee comprises 14 USDP MPs and seven military lawmakers. There are only two NLD members and eight committee members of various ethnic minority parties, representing Arakanese, Shan, Mon, Karen, Chin and Pa-O constituencies.

The committee has been charged with concluding its work six months prior to the 2015 election, which is expected to be held in November or December.


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8 Responses to NLD Campaign Will Not Influence Constitutional Reform in Parliament: Shwe Mann

  1. NLD must win land slide victory in 2015 election. Not necessary to get presidency post. That will consider after the land slide victory.

  2. All democracy loving nations should keep 50% of the current sanctions until the undemocratic constitution is amended.

  3. Parliament rules and no mob rule except where they want it to as in Meiktila before, now Mandalay.

    After all it’s their handpicked parliament with 25% in uniform and majority USDP, their own man heading the electoral commission to boot.

    So what is she doing with the Rule of Law and Tranquility Committee?!

  4. It is not about NLD nor about Suu Kyi, rather it is about Myanmar and her citizens. If Shwe Mann really does not care the voice of 4 million people but heard one million people’s voice to Draft law to ban interfaith marriage, speaker of the House is just an unfair leader. The voice of the people must not be ignored if they believe they are serving the people.

  5. The alarm bells are ringing – soon the smell of revolution will be in the air.

  6. Shwe Mann said the Parliamentary Constitutional Amendment Implementation Committee will discuss possible reforms in accordance with instructions provided by Parliament and would therefore not consider the results of the NLD’s public campaign.

  7. Quote:Shwe Mann said the Parliamentary Constitutional Amendment Implementation Committee will discuss possible reforms in accordance with instructions provided by Parliament and would therefore not consider the results of the NLD’s public campaign.

    If Thura U Shwe Marn ignored 3.3 millions of signed pettion and mocked the principle of parliamentary system, he is again reseerting to the grid of power with the mentality of military.

    The current Parliament is neither represented the will of the majority nor represented the interest of the entire Ethnic people.

    It is the last civil rights action that Daw Suu and 88 Generation Leaders have to take on review and re-amanding the constitution.

    The NLD and 88 Generation Leaders could not move the campaign ahead in local level unelss the Ethnic armed alliance UNFC backed the campaign. It is seemed that the UNFC is very silence on the campaign while most leaders enjoy media blist and having drink with the Presidential offices.

    It is not the campaign that the NLD and The 88 Generation Leaders are only in charge but the other non-USDP parties MUST be involved.

    Let’s Thura U Shwe Marn enjoyed the mentality of military power while he dress with the plain parliamentary outlet. However, the new generation of Burma do not desire to install a new military-backed government in the next election.

    What can Thura U Shwe Marn could do the rule a country while he could not provide basic healthcare, access to education, employment and basic housing to millions of people in Burma.

    Local action is the key to change local political culture. It is time that non-USDP parliamentary support the right action for the right of each citizen in a new parliamentary democracy. Thura U Shwe Marn will be regret that he has said the above statment in 2020!

    • please, do not use thura” in your writing. Those titles are rubbished in bama military thugs when you study Burmese history carefully.

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