Myanmar starts ‘final’ session of constitutional talks

Myanmar starts ‘final’ session of constitutional talks

[JURIST] The military government of Myanmar [JURIST news archive] reconvened negotiations on a new constitution [JURIST news archive] Wednesday, saying the latest talks will be the final session in completing a drafting process that began 14 years ago. The government says that the enactment of a new constitution will be the first part of a seven-step transition to democracy, with the last step being free elections. Acting prime minister Lt. General Thein Sein [BBC report] urged delegates not to alter previously agreed provisions and warned that legal action may be taken against individuals who attempt to obstruct the convention.

The convention has been criticized as an attempt by the military junta to further legitimize its power [JURIST report] because only 12 of the over 1,000 delegates are democratically elected members of parliament while the rest have been hand-picked by the military. Myanmar has been governed without a constitution since the military regime took power in 1988. AP has more.