Myanmar's ruling party warns of danger in event of constitution redrawing

Source:Xinhua Published: 2013-10-5 13:17:08

Myanmar's ruling Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) Saturday warned of grave danger and bad consequences if the 2008 constitution is abolished and redrawn.

The country and the people will suffer the consequences arising from the move, said an announcement of the party's Constitution Amendment Committee.

Myanmar's parliament set up a 109-member Constitution Review Joint Committee in July with the deputy speaker of the Union Parliament as chairman, and it is represented proportionally by parliament members of both Houses, political parties, military MPs and individuals.

The committee on Tuesday invited advice and suggestions from a wide range of stakeholders for review or amendment of the 2008 State Constitution, announcing that advice will be sought from the legislative, administrative and judicial pillars through 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.

Observers here noticed that there produced two different voices in the political circle involving ethnic parties on the constitution matter, with one side calling for amendment and the other side for total redrawing of the constitution.

Meanwhile, the opposition National League for Democracy (NLD) also said in a announcement earlier that although the party had met with counterparts from ethnic minorities and touched on the matter, it has not yet made a decision on the move which it said depends on people's desire.

The NLD vowed to cooperate with the ethnic parties to obtain public opinions for the amendment or redrawing of the constitution, the announcement said, adding that the public opinions collected will be presented to parliament.

The NLD recalled that its taking part in the by-election in April last year was aimed at undertakings of the rule of law, domestic peace and constitution amendment, finding out that the 2008 Constitution does not meet the standard of democracy, especially in the implementation of multi-party democracy, lack of protection of equality of citizens, inclusion of provisions that harm the free and fair election in coming 2015.

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, the National League for Democracy led by Aung San Suu Kyi.

The NLD took part in the by-elections in April, winning 43 out of 45 open parliamentary seats.

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