Government system of MyanmarSystem of Government of Myanmar
Which kind of federation in Myanmar?
FEDERATIONALITY federationality is an important historic problem that united and split the nation even before it gained independent power in 1948. At the Panglong meeting in February 1947, the concept of a Union administration that would give everyone has the same rights was born. This same theme split the nation in psychological and emotional terms when the Antifascist People's Liberation League (AFPFL), the first democratically-elected government after the war, did not fulfil the efforts of the country's non-Burmese racial group.
As non-Burmese communities (the border people) pressed for independence or federation, combined with the fragile civil rule in the centre, the army command under General Ne Win carried out a military coup in March 1962. Although it was included in the 1947 Constitutional Treaty, the army was an abomination to the federalist system.
Subsequent rulers of the armed forces had interpreted the use of the term "federalism" as anti-national, anti-harmonious and pro-destructive. Up until 2011, when the State Peace and Development Council's junta ruling party under President Thein Sein, who was himself a general of the armed forces, permitted the formation of a quasi-civilian regime, it was possible to go to prison because he stood up for federalism.
Thein Sein's regime adopted the idea of federation with a step-by-step democratisation proces. This was one of the fundamental tenets of the current peacemaking processes with the country's people. The NLD, as a pro-democracy political group, has supported a German coalition agreement. However, no one really knows what kind of federation Myanmar would ultimately have, not even the minority groups that have fought for the cause in recent years.
When I visited Myanmar in 2014, I asked former Prime Minister Khin Nyunt what kind of Myanmar federation should be. He established the seven-level roadmap for a "thriving and regulated democracy". He replied that the countrys needs a federation that best suited the state.
Which kind of federation would be best suited to the state and its population? Do you practise US or quasipedical nationalism in India? Such as, in the U.S. Federal system, the citizen throw ballot papers for a shale of members of the election commission, which then votes the presiden. In addition, the Chairman acts as Director General and Commander-in-Chief of the military.
Likewise, the Prime Minister of India is directly or indirectly chosen by the electorate and is a nominee leader of the nation and commander-in-chief of the army. While in Myanmar the US Presidents are directly elect by the electorate through members of the Myanmar MPs, he is not the commander-in-chief of the military.
As there is no part for the PM, the PM supervises the day-to-day management. A basic federalist rule for minority groups is the equality of all nationalities. They argue that the Burmese group should be considered as an ethnical group like any other ethnical group in the Burmese people.
Seven states are designated by different ethnical groups, while the seven areas are generally regarded as the Burmese people's territories, despite the multiethnic population. In view of the large minority and their oversight of the Burmese administration and the Burmese army, it would be very difficult for the Burmese to agree to the concept of equality and opportunity in harmony with minority nationalities.
A further big issue in the establishment of a true federation is the domination of the army. Not only does the army have 25% reserved seat in all terms of office, but it also designates a vice-president and has three important departments - interior, defence and frontier issues. It also presides over the NDSC, which has the power to establish the country's state of emergencies, so that the army takes over all sectors of power - lawmaking, law enforcement and the judicial system.
Another universally applicable feature of the federal system is that each state has the authority to legislate and elect its own governor or prime minister. Under the current system in Myanmar, states are robbed of these human freedoms. Since the National League for Democracy is beginning to establish a new administration, it should examine all possibilities of bringing about changes in the system itself, beginning with the amendment or replacement of the non-democratic or non-federalist state.
Such a possible path would be the peacemaking procedure with non-parliamentary people. There is another possibility, even if the chances are very small, to persuade the army progressively to diminish its political involvement through the legislation loop. In spite of the issues and problems ahead, Myanmar must establish a system that ensures equal opportunities for all communities and decentralises or delegates authority to state and municipal government.
It is imperative that the army and its institutions be answerable to a civil administration that has been democratic.