Myanmar moves ahead with constitution amendment

काठमाण्डु टुडे २०७० असोज १८ गते १३:२९ मा प्रकाशित

YANGON, Oct. 4 (Xinhua) — Myanmar’s Constitution Review Joint Committee invited advice and suggestions from a wide range of stakeholders on Thursday for review on amendment of the 2008 State Constitution.According to the committee’s statement, assessment and advice will be sought from the legislative, administrative and judicial pillars through the parliament and those from political parties, organizations and individuals through respective parliament representatives.

The committee set the deadline for Nov. 15 for submission of such advice and assessment.The committee claimed that it has carried out three tasks laid down by the parliament, that is, to ensure the emergence of a constitution which can further guarantee the perpetuation, stability and peace and development of Myanmar in accordance with the current age and system; to bring eternal peace to all national races and ethnic people through building a national unity among them; and to carry on democratic reform.

The 109-member Constitution Review Joint Committee was set up in July with the Deputy Speaker of the Union Parliament as its chairman. The committee members are represented proportionally by parliament members of both Houses, political parties, military MPs and individuals.

The set-up of the committee was seen as a more to seek solution to the constitution issue in preparation for the 2015 general election Myanmar’s House of Representative, or Lower House agreed in March to a proposal to form a committee comprising multi-party representatives for reviewing the 2008 Constitution and make necessary amendment on it.The proposal, which said the current constitution is no longer in line with the present era, was submitted by Thura U Aye Myint, an MP from the Wetlat Constituency, who is also Vice Chairman of the ruling Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP).

The 194-page 15-chapter Republic of the Union of Myanmar Constitution 2008, drafted in accordance with the detailed basic principles laid down by the National Convention, was promulgated in May 2008 after a nationwide referendum. The constitution reserves 25 percent of the parliamentary seats at three levels for  non-elected or directly-nominated MPs from the military in addition to the elected MPs.

Under that constitution, a multi-party democracy general election was held in November 2010, in which the USDP won the majority of the parliamentary seats  with its then party chairman U Thein Sein being elected as President of the new civilian government who took office in March 2011.

In 2012,  the government amended the party registration law, re- legalizing the opposition party, the National League for Democracy (NLD) led by Aung San Suu Kyi. The NLD took part in the by-elections on April 1 in the year, winning  43 out of 45 open parliamentary seats, of which 37, including Suu Kyi, are with the Lower House.

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