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Burma’s main opposition party, the National League for Democracy (NLD), and the 88 Generation Peace and Open Society (88GPOS) civic group announced on Sunday that they will work together to change Article 436 of the Constitution, the clause which demands that 75 percent of parliamentarians must vote to make any amendment to the Constitution.
An NLD delegation led by Chairperson Aung San Suu Kyi met with representatives of the 88GPOS group at University Avenue House in Rangoon on Sunday morning.
88GPOS leader Ko Jimmy explained why he thought Article 436 needed to be changed.
“To amend any of the articles in Constitution, Article 436 is the key,” he said. “Now, all the people in Burma, including ethnic people, are aiming towards democracy, ethnic equality and a federal union. Achieving these goals will be impossible without amending Article 436.”
Article 436 is a clause under Chapter XII (Amendment of the Constitution). It states that for the amendment of any provision of the Constitution, more than 75 percent of all MPs in both houses must approve the change, and that certain provisions additionally require that the amendment must thereafter be approved by more than 50 percent of eligible voters in a referendum.
He said the 88 Generation group will call on the will of the people to be expressed and shared with parliament. He added that they will also work with other political forces and ethnic groups who want to amend the 2008 Constitution.
On February 10, the NLD and the 88 GPOS released a joint statement asserting their commitment to work together towards the common goal of achieving a more democratic charter, reading: “We will be working together to bring about Constitutional reforms via peace and fair means, while keeping our eyes on the national reconciliation process, for development of a genuine democratic union.”