Ethnic coalition the United Nationalities Alliance (UNA) and the 88 Generation Peace and Open Society (88GPOS) civil society organisation have declared that a fair election in Burma is impossible in 2015 unless amendments are made to the 2008 Constitution.
“If the 2015 election is held without amending the Constitution, the election might be free, but it won’t be fair,” said UNA leader Aye Thar Aung, following a joint meeting between the organisations’ delegates in Rangoon’s Tamwe Township.
The two groups joined forces last year in response to slow progress on reformation of the Constitution which, alongside other caveats, provides the military with a parliamentary veto and effectively bars opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi from taking up the presidency.
“We concluded that the charter must be amended before the election. We also agreed that we will send a letter to the ethnic armed groups’ conference to be held at Lawkheela, stating that we support the ethnic leaders on the signing the nationwide ceasefire agreement, throughout the peace process, and on the establishment of a federal union,” said Aye Thar Aung.
“What we will try to achieve is a parliamentary decision to amend the constitution – that is what we want to get, anyway,” 88GPOS student leader Min Ko Naing told reporters at a press conference.
Aye Thar Aye said that the meeting – in which UNA leaders Khun Htun Oo, Sai Nyunt Lwin, Sai Leik and Aye Thar Aung met with 88GPOS leaders Min Ko Naing, Ko Ko Gyi, Mya Aye Pyone Cho and Ko Jimmy – was called in response to the uncertainty surrounding constitutional amendment, the ending of civil war and the establishment of a truly democratic system.