Myanmar parliament rejects constitutional amendment to reduce military political power
© WikiMedia (Shafiur Rahman)
Myanmar parliament rejects constitutional amendment to reduce military political power

The National League for Democracy (NLD), headed by State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, failed Tuesday to reduce the role of the military in Myanmar’s parliament.

The NLD proposed amendments to the 2008 constitution, which requires more than 75 percent of members of parliament to pass constitutional amendments while giving the military 25 percent of the seats under Article 436. This allows the military to veto any proposed constitutional amendments. One NLD amendment included changing the provision language to “two-thirds of elected representatives” are necessary for constitutional amendments versus “more than seventy-five percent.” Another amendment aimed to reduce the military’s percentage of parliamentary seats over time: down to 15 percent after the 2020 election, 10 percent after 2025 and 5 percent after 2030. Senior General Min Aung Hlaing of the military opposition claims that the military “has … taken those seats as a measure to ensure national stability” while the country transitions into democracy.

The NLD and Suu Kyi have failed to make radical changes in Myanmar that their campaigns promised. Suu Kyi has also faced allegations of genocide against the Rohingya Muslims in the country.

Though 12 amendments were denied, two amendments passed regarding changes to the constitutional language addressing people with disabilities. They will now go to a national referendum and need 50 percent of voter support to take effect.