Burma’s parliamentary house speaker Shwe Mann told a press conference in Naypyidaw on Tuesday that any amendments to the 2008 Constitution will only be enacted after next year’s general elections.
Following the day’s debate in the bicameral parliament on constitutional reform, the house speaker said that a referendum will be held in May 2015 to gauge public opinion on any changes to the Constitution, but that moves to pass any amendments could only be approved through the new legislature which reconvenes in 2016. The elections are expected to be held in either November or December 2015.
“The 2015 elections will be held in accordance with the laws stipulated under the 2008 Constitution and relating laws,” he told reporters. “If the referendum in May brings about motions to amend the Constitution, then those bills will be submitted at the next session of parliament convened after the elections.”
Shwe Mann added that controversial Articles 436 and 59(f) will be considered based on public opinion.
The debate on constitutional reform is tabled to continue in parliament this week.
On Monday, Chin National Party upper house representative Za Tlem proposed that military MPs should be dismissed from the legislature and provided with roles in the defence and security sectors.
“I suggested that the military representatives – who hold 25 percent of all parliamentary seats – should be removed from the legislature and instead provided roles in the defence and security sectors to allow for the implementation of democracy and a genuine civilian government,” said Za Tlem.