Military MP opposes charter reform due to Burma’s ‘democratic inexperience’

Military MP opposes charter reform due to Burma’s ‘democratic inexperience’

A senior military MP opined on Tuesday that constitutional Article 436 should not be amended.

Speaking during a debate on charter reform in the union parliament, Brig-Gen Tin San Naing said the provision “should be left in place as Myanmar [Burma] is still undergoing a democratic transition and is inexperienced with democratic procedures concerning national security, stability and national interest.”

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Article 436 is amongst the sections proposed for amendment by the main opposition party, Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy, and other parties, including ethnic-based groups.

This article dictates that a parliamentary majority of 75 percent is needed for the passing of any legislation. In Burma, 25 percent of parliamentary seats are reserved for military MPs, effectively handing the army a veto. The deeply unpopular Article 436 has been the subject of much criticism for its undemocratic nature.

A bill recently introduced to parliament recommended amending the article to lower the requirement of MPs required for charter reforms from 75 percent to no less than 70 percent.

DVB reported in October that the results of a survey conducted last year among military MPs indicated that the vast majority do not support changing or repealing Article 436.

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