Numer 436 in burmese
The most controversial law of 2008 Constitution
It states that:
If it is necessary to amend the provisions of Sections (…) of this Constitution, it shall be amended with the prior approval of more than seventy-five percent of all the representatives of the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw, after which in a nation-wide referendum only with the votes of more than half of those who are eligible to vote.
75% of the votes of the deputies in Parliament, which includes de facto 25% of these the seats held by the military appointed by the Commander-in-Chief of the Army, is to say that the Burmese army has a right of veto, blocking any change to the constitution!
Section 436 is therefore inherently what makes this constitution, anti-democratic.
Since its release in 2010, Aung San Suu Kyi has announced a change in the constitution was essential to lead the country on the democratic track, before the elections by 2015, and firstly that article 436.
When her party, the National League for Democracy (NLD) decided to participate in the by-elections held in 2012, the Law on Political Parties Registration stipulates that the person who wishes to be a candidate must “protect” the constitution of 2008.
The NLD refused to validate such a request, the electoral commission proposed an amendment to the Act, by changing the word “protect” by “respect”.
In the Kayin State, the meeting of the National League for democracy (NLD), the party of Aung San Suu Kyi, came to debate on the constitution.
Taken in its internal tensions, the power make light of the opposition
The NLD has repeatedly called on the government to make changes to the constitution. Aung San Suu Kyi would also seek the support of Western governments to urge the Burmese government to take action in her European tour in 2013.
For its part, the government said it was considering changes before the elections, but nothing concrete has ever produced.
Then end of 2013, at a meeting before 30,000 people in Rangoon, Aung San Suu Kyi changes tone perceiving that the time required for these changes before the elections narrowed more and more:
There will be no fair elections with the current Constitution (…) If we join the elections, we’ll have no dignity in the eyes of the people.
The commander-in-chief decides whether or not the Constitution can be amended,(…) How can you call a Constitution democratic when it can be amended or not amended in accordance with one in an unelected post?
A collect of signature that has the taste of a pre-campaign
But Aung san Suu Kyi evokes the boycott of the elections by 2015, as ultimate pressure on the Executive branch so it speeds up the process on amendments to the constitution.
Then, in the middle of 2014, the NLD teamed up with the movement of former political prisoners, 88 Generation, for a large population signature campaign calling for these changes. The idea is to focus specifically on the rewriting of Article 436, the first obstacle to any changes. Rallies gathering masses are held in all states of the country.
Despite the 5 million signatures presented to Parliament, neither the Government nor the Parliament seemed to consider this amendment to the constitution as a priority.
Finally, late 2014, parliament speaker Thura Shwe Mann announced that changes to the constitution will be promulgated after the 2015 elections.
Four years in which the government and the parliament casts doubt on an amendment to the constitution before the 2015 elections!
And finally the hard line continues to impose its undemocratic policy by imposing on the Burmese people to still be under the influence of the army… as for the past 50 years.