Irrawaddy minister rebuffs Suu Kyi on constitutional reform

In response to widespread calls for constitutional reform, Irrawaddy Division’s Chief Minister has announced that there is no need to amend the 2008 constitution.

Thein Aung’s comments coincided with a rally held by the National League for Democracy in Irrawaddy’s Maubin Township. The rally was intended to gather public support for charter reform.

Speaking to DVB on 10 May, Thein Aung said the decision to amend the constitution, “should be based on how much damage it can cause to the country, the public, the economy, and politics. It should only be considered if there are major issues, but there is nothing like that in the current constitution,” he said.

Opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi and the NLD are spearheading the charter reform campaign and calls to amend the constitution before the 2015 elections are widespread.

At the Maubin rally, Suu Kyi stressed that the army carries the responsibility to amend the constitution– as they hold 25 percent of seats in parliament and therefore have the power to veto any bill put forward.

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“Our people need to seriously consider why they don’t want amendments. Study on the constitution evidently shows that it is not in conformity with democratic standards,” said opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi while speaking to a crowd of NLD supporters in Maubin.

At the rally, the NLD conducted a survey to determine the level of support for charter reform. Their survey found that 90 percent of those who attended the event wished to see constitutional change. The majority of people at the rally were already NLD supporters.

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