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Myanmar faces political crisis


Myanmar MP Thura U Aung Ko warns of political crisis brewing…reports Asian Lite, the best newspaper for South Asian diaspora

Suu Kyi
Aung San Suu Kyi AC is a Burmese opposition politician and chairperson of the National League for Democracy

 Myanmar parliament member Thura U Aung Ko has warned of the country heading towards a political crisis if the administration turns a blind eye to constitution amendment, local media reported Thursday.

Speaking on the sidelines of the ongoing parliament session, U Aung Ko, who is a central executive member of the ruling Union Solidarity and Development Party (USFP), told local media that “ethnic parties and the people are demanding the constitution amendment so do the international community”, according to Xinhua.

“Difficulties will arise with the signing of peace agreements and even the ceasefire agreements will fail,” warned U Aung Ko, who is also member of the parliament’s 31-member Committee for Implementation of 2008 Constitution Amendment.

He called for amending those sections of the constitution related to the right of self-administration, self-promulgation, sharing of benefits of natural resources and formation of a federal union and armed forces.

He stressed that there was no other way out except extensive amendment of the constitution to gain peace, promotion of people’s lives and emergence of genuine democracy.

Meanwhile, organised by the main opposition party, the National League for Democracy (NLD), in collaboration with the 88-Generation Students Peace and Open Society, a nationwide signature campaign calling for amendment of Section-436 is under way in Myanmar, including Nay Pyi Taw and Yangon since Tuesday, which will last until July 19.

The movement calls on the public to back efforts for amendment of the restrictive Section 436 of the 2008 Constitution ahead of the upcoming general election in 2015, saying that the section hinders the progress of heading towards a democratic nation.

Parliament, on its part, established a Committee to Implement Constitutional Amendment in February, tasking the committee to make an analysis of the sections of the constitution if it is to amend it or not.

Parliament Speaker U Shwe Mann called on the committee to finish the task in six months in order to hold the 2015 general elections.

Section 436 of the constitution prescribes that constitution amendment needs the approval of more than 75 percent of all parliament members (MPs).

According to the section, changes to some provisions of the sections of the constitution need the prior support of over 75 percent of all the MPs and following the approval of the MPs, a national referendum should be held, in which more than 50 percent of eligible voters have to support the move.

Under the 2008 constitution promulgated by the previous military government in May 2008, the non-elected military MPs hold 25 percent of all the parliamentary seats.

The committee is reportedly proposing to revise the percentage to 66 percent or two-thirds so as to enable the possibility of the amendment by the parliament.