Myanmar leadership considers amending constitution, limiting military veto power
Myanmar leadership considers amending constitution, limiting military veto power

[JURIST] Myanmar’s parliament [official website, in Burmese] will consider amending the country’s 2008 constitution [text] following talks between Myanmar President Thein Sein [BBC profile], top army officials and opposition leadership, an official said Friday. The opposition National League for Democracy (NLD) [Facebook page, in Burmese] seeks to alter part of the constitution [AFP report] allowing the military to veto any amendments. It is believed that this change will allow further amendments to the constitution, including a change to presidential qualifications that would allow NLD general secretary Aung San Suu Kyi [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] to run for president. Currently, Suu Kyi is barred by a constitutional qualification that prevents citizens related to foreigners from running for president, as her two sons enjoy British citizenship. Myanmar plans to hold general elections [AP report] at the end of October 2015.

Reform [BBC timeline] in Myanmar [JURIST news archive] has happened slowly in the three years since the dissolution [BBC report] of the nation’s military government and transition to a civilian regime in 2011. In early May Human Rights Watch urged Myanmar to protect the freedom of the press [JURIST report] and put an end to arbitrary arrests of journalists. The statement listed several journalists who have been arrested since December on politically-motivated charges, including criminal trespass, use of obscene language, and revealing state secrets. Despite the recent arrests, the Myanmar legislature approved a new media law [JURIST report] in March purportedly affording greater freedoms to local media outlets and the press. In January 2013 Sein abolished Order No. 2/88 [JURIST report], which banned gathering and delivering speeches in public by a group of five or more people.