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Continuing a tour to gather support for constitutional reform, the National League for Democracy (NLD) and the ’88 Generation Peace and Open Society (88GPOS) rallied in Henzada, Irrawaddy Division on Friday.
Hundreds gathered to hear Tin Oo, Vice-Chairman of the NLD, as well as regional party official Myo Nyunt, and 88GPOS leaders Min Ko Naing and Ko Ko Gyi speak on the importance of constitutional amendment.
Speaking to the crowed gathered in a local hall, Ko Ko Gyi urged the Burmese armed forces [known as the Tatmadaw] to join amending the constitution.
“As the generations flow, we are now becoming older citizens and so are the servicemen in the Tatmadaw from our generation, Ko Ko Gyi said.
Ko Ko Gyi pointed out that many of those former servicemen are now military leaders, and can play a positive role in the construction of peace by relinquishing their hold over constitutional reform.
“They have a chance to take part in our country’s reforms and by doing so, redeem its dignity and their own, and also to reconcile with the people by amending Article 436,” said Ko Ko Gyi.
Article 436 of the 2008 Constitution introduces the need for a 75 percent parliamentary vote to change certain constitutional articles. As 25 percent of the Burmese legislature is appointed to the military, their support is almost certainly necessary for changes to go through.
One of the articles that 436 affects is 59(f), which bars anyone with foreign relatives from the Burmese presidency.
The NLD and 88GPOS hold that this clause is solely intended to block NLD leader Aung San Suu Kyi from the position.
The Henzada rally is the third since the NLD and 88GPOS launched their constitutional reform campaign in Rangoon on 17 May. A rally has also been held in Mandalay. Petitions and surveys have circulated among supporters at the rallies, designed to assert the public’s will for change.