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As 2020 polls loom, calls renew for constitutional change in Burma

40 6 13
CONSTITUTIONAL change was a 2015 election campaign promise of Burma’s (Myanmar) National League for Democracy (NLD) and Aung San Suu Kyi.

As the 2020 elections loom large, they are now revisiting the proposal to recapture the attention and support of the people.

Over the past three years, the NLD government has been busy dealing with a wide range of governance issues. The peace process has been particularly difficult and hit a number of obstacles. It is unlikely that it will be able to show progress in this area.

The NLD is instead turning to amending the military-enacted constitution to stimulate electoral momentum. Reforms could potentially affect the military’s role in governance, and so the move is mired in controversy.

SEE ALSO: The hardening grip of Burma’s soft media repression

To begin with, the NLD raised this legislative motion on the date of the commemoration of U Ko Ni — a lawyer and former advisor to the NLD — who was assassinated on Jan 26, 2017. Ko Ni was the country’s most vocal advocate for constitutional reform. His death has had a chilling effect on efforts to amend the Constitution.

When the NLD proposed forming a committee to amend the Constitution in the national legislature, the military claimed that they had failed to follow the correct procedure.

All of the military members of parliament refused to vote on the motion as a show of defiance. They have done this on a handful of other occasions, such as........

© Asian Correspondent