How Myanmar became a Democratic CountryMyanmar became a democratic country
Myanmar's generals are still being elected - democratisation in Myanmar
A parliamentary elections will be held in Myanmar on 8 November (see article). This will be a notable move for a nation that has endured six dozen years of armed domination, albeit a moufti and a little less aggressive in recent years. Miss Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy (NLD) won a slippery win at the polls in 1990.
They should have made up the administration, but the general ignored the outcome and kept her under home detention (where she was already) for most of the following two dozen years. It is likely that the military will keep its promises and take the outcome. Firstly, a new reform administration under the leadership of former General Thein Sein came to office in 2011.
The aim was to loosen the chains that the men in uniforms had put around Myanmar, to free most of the country's deportees and to lift the censor. She became law in 2012 after a remarkable number of by-election votes. However, the reign of the army is not over yet. According to the Myanmar 2008 constitutional treaty, which was imposed by a manipulated referenda, a fourth of the members of parliament are directly nominated by the Chief of the Defence Force.
More than three fourths of the MPs' voices are necessary to amend the draft bill that enables the military to act practically as a state within a state - its tactics extend into almost every facet of human existence, from economics to schoolbooks. Regardless of how many million people in Burma are voting against the Union Solidarity and Development Party, which governs the land and is supported by the military, the military will continue to be the true force in Myanmar.
Moreover, no amount of voting goes to Miss Suu Kyi's political group, she cannot be chairman. This was ensured by the general when he said in his selfish condition that no one may serve in this post with a alien spouse or descendants. The legislature elects the presidential candidate; if it were not for the country's constitutional system, Miss Suu Kyi would be a candidate for the position if the NLD won through a mud-slide.
In this way, the elections will not help in bringing about the amendment to the constitution that most of the electorate - and that the nation urgently needs - nor will Myanmar have the presidents that its electorate would elect. Abundant democratic states assumed too quickly that Myanmar was safe on the path to plurality and abandoned the negotiating position over the general when they removed most of their penalties in 2012.
As Myanmar's loneliness ended, FDI flowed in, boosting the economy. Against further liberalization, the Armed Forces had already received most of what they wanted from the West. NLD gathered tens of thousands of signatures to convince the NLD to end the actual exercise of democratic power over the constitution.
Well, the general said no. Myanmar's people deserved better. They should be asked by the West to amend the Constitutional Treaty to ban the military from the political arena. It should also help to ensure a durable peaceful settlement between the federal administration and tribal minorities long oppressed by the military.
However, a powerful NLD presence will show that the electorate wants not only economical but also politics transform. Maybe the armies will submit to the will of the men they are supposed to protect and go back to the caserne. However, the West would be imprudent to continue waiting for an indefinite time or to continue to grant favors to the military because it fears that grumpy commanders will turn instead to China for assistance.
It may blame the military for being taught about democracies and respect for people' s dignity, but it would rather be concerned with the West than with Myanmar' s huge northern neighbor. The United States and the European Union should return to imposing specific penalties if the armed forces refuse to withdraw. This would make the general think again.