Hard Road to Change – In Myanmar, constitutional reforms are needed but unlikely

Sanjay Pulipaka & Krishnan Srinivasan The Telegraph, December 12 , 2014

Currently, Myanmar has a semi-democratic system with the military sharing power with the civil authority. With 25 per cent of the seats in the legislatures reserved for the armed forces, and many of the civilian leadership actually being former defence personnel, the military’s exercise of control over the government remains substantial.

Through a recent resolution, the Parliament in Myanmar called for immediate consultations on constitutional reform between the president, the army chief, the Speakers of both houses of Parliament, the Opposition leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, and a representative of the ethnic parties. Only a day later, President Thein Sein threw the ball back into the court of the legislators, stating that members of parliament themselves had the responsibility to amend the Constitution. These to-and-fro manoeuvres suggest that a political stalemate is developing in our neighbouring country.

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