Skip to main content

Myanmar army opposes constitutional change on presidency





Myanmar army soldiers hold a guard of honor during a ceremony at the Martyrs' Mausoleum in the city of Yangon, July 19, 2012.



Myanmar’s army has voiced its opposition to the potential amendment of the constitution that would allow opposition leader and Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Aung San Suu Kyi to run for president.

Myanmar’s military representatives told MPs during a debate in the parliament on Monday that the army would reject amending the constitutional charter that bans Suu Kyi from high political office.


“I would like you all to remember that the constitution is not written for just one person but for the future of everyone,” Colonel Htay Naing said during the debate, which was televised on Tuesday.

Aung San Suu Kyi, who spent 15 years under house arrest during the military rule in Myanmar, has announced her intention to run for president. The National League for Democracy (NLD) leader is predicted to post big gains at the election scheduled for October or November next year if she is allowed to run.

Since Suu Kyi’s two sons and late husband are British, she is effectively excluded as a presidential contender under Clause 59F of the constitution.

It would be “concerning if the children of our country’s president were foreign citizens,” Htay Naing said.

Members of parliament have begun a debate on whether to amend the 2008 constitution, including Clause 59F, and the rule reserving 25 percent of seats for the military.

A “yes” vote by more than 75 percent of the lawmakers in Myanmar is needed to change the constitution.

Myanmar’s constitution was drawn up by the former ruling generals. There has recently been growing concern that reforms, which began under President Thein Sein, have come to a halt.

Meanwhile, the NLD party has gained around five million signatures, or 10 percent of the population, on a petition to end the army’s right of veto on amending the constitution.

GMA/HJL/SS

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Why States Still Use Barrel Bombs

Smoke ascends after a Syrian military helicopter allegedly dropped a barrel bomb over the city of Daraya on Jan. 31.(FADI DIRANI/AFP/Getty Images)

Summary
Barrel bombs are not especially effective weapons. They are often poorly constructed; they fail to detonate more often than other devices constructed for a similar purpose; and their lack of precision means they can have a disproportionate effect on civilian populations.

However, combatants continue to use barrel bombs in conflicts, including in recent and ongoing conflicts in Africa and the Middle East, and they are ideally suited to the requirements of resource-poor states.

Analysis


Barrel bombs are improvised devices that contain explosive filling and shrapnel packed into a container, often in a cylindrical shape such as a barrel. The devices continue to be dropped on towns all over Syria. Indeed, there have been several documented cases of their use in Iraq over the past months, and residents of the city of Mosul, which was recently …

Russia Looks East for New Oil Markets

Click to Enlarge


In the final years of the Soviet Union, Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev began orienting his foreign policy toward Asia in response to a rising Japan. Putin has also piloted a much-touted pivot to Asia, coinciding with renewed U.S. interest in the area. A good expression of intent was Russia's hosting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in 2012 in Vladivostok, near Russia's borders with China and North Korea. Although its efforts in Asia have been limited by more direct interests in Russia's periphery and in Europe, Moscow recently has been able to look more to the east.

Part of this renewed interest involves finding new export markets for Russian hydrocarbons. Russia's economy relies on energy exports, particularly crude oil and natural gas exported via pipeline to the West. However, Western Europe is diversifying its energy sources as new supplies come online out of a desire to reduce its dependence on Russian energy supplies.

This has forced…

In Yemen, a Rebel Advance Could Topple the Regime

Shia loyal to the al-Houthi movement ride past Yemeni soldiers near Yaz, Yemen, in May. (MOHAMMED HUWAIS/AFP/Getty Images)

Summary


The success of a rebel campaign in northern Yemen is threatening to destabilize the already weak and overwhelmed government in Sanaa. After capturing the city of Amran, a mere 50 kilometers (30 miles) from the capital, in early July, the rebels from the al-Houthi tribe are in their strongest position yet. The Yemeni government is developing plans to divide the country into six federal regions, and the rebels believe this is their chance to claim territory for the future bargaining.

The central government is nearly powerless to fend off the rebels; its forces are already stretched thin. Neighboring Saudi Arabia has intervened in Yemen before and still supports Sunni tribes in the north, but the risk of inciting a Shiite backlash or creating space for jihadists to move in could deter another intervention.

Analysis


Followers of Zaidi Islam, a branch of Shiism, rul…