Political Situation in Myanmar 2016Myanmar 2016 political situation
Wednesday, March 30, 2016. Allocation of seats in the Union Parliament after the 2015 elections.
Political reforms in Myanmar: Gradual but steady transformation - Australian Institute of International Affairs
Myanmar's absence of a clear election platform for the National League for Democracy in the 2015 election has slowered the ensuing reforms. Burma began in early 2016 with a peaceable change of leadership on the way to basic policy reforms. This transition took place from the former army to the National League for Democracy (NLD) under the leadership of Aung San Suu Kyi, whose leadership in the new administration was not called into question.
Over a year later, Myanmar's move from junta government is far from over, but it is a step in the right lane. We will have to wait and see whether the changeover to a true democratic system will take place, but it will certainly bring about profound policy changes, some of which are not yet over.
Burma is governed under the erroneous but widely acknowledged and unchanged 2008 Constitutions. It will retain total sovereignty in the areas of domestic and international law and order (also in Rakhine State, where the Rohingya crises occurred). The Myanmar military continues to oppress them, and in some areas they are still struggling against what they call "insurgencies.
But Myanmar's environment is probably better than ever. These changes have opened few possibilities for young Burmese citizens and there has been little genuine improvement in the reform of the constitutional state. Myanmar's delegation of power to the 14 states after 2011 will remain fragmentary and has not been supported with the necessary funds, personnel or technical knowledge.
It needs to be adapted to the realities of Myanmar, but the debate on appropriate federative choices for Myanmar is inadequate and the loopholes in developments are not over. Efforts to stimulate macroeconomic reform were only partially successful; US stimulus packages were not rescinded until September 2016. As a result, IFIs are not fully authorised to support Myanmar as part of a country-wide country wide developing policy.
The NLD, which has chosen not to make any concrete promises in the run-up to the November 2015 general election, has had a serious difficulty in finding a clear line of action. Despite the persuasive electoral win, the federal administration has been reluctant to take new measures across the country in many areas. The conclusion of a nation-wide peacemaking procedure has rightly become a top preoccupation, but it has always taken a very long timeframe; disagreements between different ethnical groups over the distribution of powers had never been sufficiently resolv- ter.
The NLD did not announce any country reform before its electoral win, although it now appears that it is under way. It has not defined any specific policy in important areas such as climatic changes, monitoring of the country's natural resource base or managing it. The NLD administration has adopted few detailled guidelines despite internal reform funding.
That was intended, but seems complex and can slow down reform. The maintenance of a political viceto has now been seen as a dilemma by Aung San Suu Kyi. Nevertheless, it will take patience from outside the country; most of Myanmar's reform will take a long while to be implemented and adapted to suit needs.
During Myanmar's policy transformation, it was exceptionally susceptible to foreign proposals and proposals. However, all decision and decision must be made by the Myanmar tribe and its legal representative. Major contributors, as well as the UN Development Programme, have already made multi-year pledges to continue supporting reform beyond the 2015 election, despite some allegations that the contributors are not willing to make such long-term pledges.
It is not, however, for the United Nations to control the adaptation of Myanmar to its policy set-up. For socio-economic and policy considerations, Myanmar could pay more focus to the completion of infrastructural connections with the remainder of Asia. For the future, reform of Myanmar's institutional framework will be challenging but critic. We will need to take a long timeframe to promote internal policy agreement, especially when it comes to sensible policy issues.
Myanmar needs to have more flexibility, quicker reaction and more collegial structures such as the military, parliaments, bureaucracies, the judiciary, education facilities and the press. Myanmar needs to make different groups and interests more coherent, less competetive and more cooperative. This is not uncommon in Myanmar, but you can learn about it.
More inclusive, responsive and mutually supportive technologies need to be followed more closely. Myanmar leadership must stop focusing on whether one group profits more from one politics than others. Australia's work is generally seen in a positive light and could be much more useful to Myanmar than it is now, but this would take more work.
Myanmar needs courageous leaders and a policy that is slowly regaining the dominating part of the military. NLD's clear electoral win in November 2015 should be a satisfactory term of office. Mr. Wilson is a guest researcher at the Department of Policy & Social Change at Australian National University.