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Myanmar president echoes Suu Kyi’s calls for constitution to establish democratic federal union


U Win Myint believed that a peaceful, modern, developed and prosperous democratic federal union will emerge in the future if all ethnic nationals worked strenuously in unity with firm union spirit.

TFM Desk

After State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi had renewed her call for the amendments to the 2008 Constitution that bestowed on the country’s armed forces too much power, including full control over the security apparatus, Myanmar president U Win Myint on Monday called for a constitution which will be the foundation of the establishment of the future democratic federal union complying with principles and standards.

Aung San Suu Kyi, the de facto Myanmar leader, who spent most of the two decades of her life under arrest of the military junta, had said changing the military-sponsored charter could hasten the achievement of sustainable peace in the country.

“The amendment of the State Constitution is absolutely necessary for the emergence of a democratic federal system which is the goal of our peacemaking efforts,” she said in her New Year’s address.

 “We must strive with might and main for the emergence of the Constitution aligned with the peace agreements, the long-term needs of the country and the expectation of our people,” she added.

Speaking on the occasion of the 73rd Anniversary of Independence Day, U Win Myint stressed that it is important for all ethnic nationals to help each other in close friendship, to have compassion and empathy, to discuss and negotiate, to be free from suspicion, to have mutual respect, understanding and trust as well as unity in establishing the democratic federal union, reports Xinhua news agency.

He believed that a peaceful, modern, developed and prosperous democratic federal union will emerge in the future if all ethnic nationals worked strenuously in unity with firm union spirit.

The president also stressed that the union government is striving to establish a democratic federal union which has been the aspiration of all ethnic nationals with the intention of achieving the speedy cessation of internal armed conflicts and durable peace.

A British colony in the 19th century, Myanmar gained independence on January 4, 1948.

Under the present constitution, enacted during the rule of military strongman Than Shwe, 25 percent of the members of the parliament are automatically allocated to military officers. Likewise, any charter amendment can only be passed with more than 75 percent approval of the whole parliament. Thus, any successful changes in the charter need the support of the military.

Moreover, the military has complete control over the security-related ministries, from the Interior Ministry, the Border Guard forces, and the Defence Ministry, among others.

In the first quarter of 2020, the National League for Democracy (NLD)-dominated parliament attempted but failed miserably to pass charter amendments that would clip the powers of the military.

The country’s military chief, Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, made clear that the military will not yet relinquish its political powers as the country remains unstable amid threat from local armed groups and foreign forces.

The senior general, however, said that the military establishment will support the government’s efforts to achieve sustainable peace and development.

 “Only the eternal peace can create peace and stability in the country and development for the new generations,” Senior General Min Aung Hlaing said in his New Year’s message. “The Tatmadaw will make the best effort for eternal peace and national development in close cooperation with the ethnic national brothers and sisters.”

Daw Aung San Suu Kyiv said that the first priority of the government is to re-shape the country for the new generations, leaving behind the old system and practices, including the 2008 Constitution.

The NLD became the first civilian government to rule the country after more than 50 years of military rule, which seized power in 1962.

 “That means the substitution of the old system and administration with sound policies and good practices,” she added.

President U Win Myint vowed to work with the citizens of Myanmar to achieve its goal of peace and development.

“In the coming years, we will join hands and work with the people not only to complete the projects but will strive to create better conditions and new opportunities in the political, economic and social sectors.” 

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