Short Note on Democracy in MyanmarBrief reference to democracy in Myanmar
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Myanmar/Burma's fight for democracy
Burma/Myanmar is in the 4th year of a historical transitional from Burma's armed forces regime, which began after the dissolution of the Burmese regime in March 2011 and was succeeded by an electoral assembly and the administration under President Thein Sein. In November, new election for the second cabinet under the 2008 constitutional framework are anticipated.
Thein Sein's administration has expressed its support for free and free electoral processes, but it has created a constitutionally binding barrier that makes it impossible for Aung San Suu Kyi, the NLD's National League for Democracy (NLD) to become the country's next chair. While the NLD seems to have emerged from the new parliamentary term with the most seat votes, it could lag behind its landsliding 1990 electoral win, which was not acceptable to the reigning army Junta.
Dolphine Schrank, a former Washington Post journalist, lived four years under Myanmar/Burma dissident and wrote a story about her intergenerational struggle for democracy. Richard Bush, Sr. Fellows and Directors of the Center for East Asia Policy Studies, gave opening speeches and chaired the group.
Named The Economist's 2015 Land of the Year, Myanmar merits special mention. Myanmar is the second biggest state in Southeast Asia. The Tibeto-Himalaya Mountains extend from north to south along the boundary; to the southwest and south, Myanmar is bordered by the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea.
Myanmar is now one of the world' s impoverished countries with a 26% share of the population. For the past sixty years, the state has been in an almost continuous conflict with no fewer than 15 different groups of rebels operating in Myanmar. November 8, 2015 was an historic date for the fight for democracy in Myanmar.
This was the first election the nation had in 25 years. More than 50 years of violent armed conflict, the Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi has brought the opposing faction a dramatic win with 78% of the votes and 57% of the people. It is one of the most encouraging events in Myanmar's recent election since the 1990 election, when the army ignored the results after a similar election win by the government as well.
Burma (then known as Burma) was a UK settlement. Aung San (one of the founder of the Antifascist People's Liberty League) succeeded in negotiating Burma's liberty from the Brits in 1947. The Aung San's Antifascist People's Liberation League won 248 of the 255 parliamentary houses and Aung San and his minister began to draft the country's constitutional treaty.
But on July 19, 1947, Aung San and some of his members of the government were shot down at the behest of a nomad. Burma eventually achieved sovereignty on 4 January 1948 with frequent election in 1951, 1956 and 1960.
In March 2, 1962, the army under General Ne Win took over Burma in a military coup d'état, and the Burmese authorities have been under the immediate or immediate rule of the war. In 1974, a new treaty was adopted which resulted in the delegation of authority from the army to a popular assembly chaired by Ne Win and other former warlords.
Up until 1988, the state was governed under a one-party system, with the general and other army rulers stepping down from the army and reigning over Burma's Socialist Program Partie. Unrests over economical problems and governmental repression in 1988 resulted in pro-democracy protests all over the state. At the same the Aung San's sister, Aung San Suu Kyi, came back to Burma from London to look after her sick mum.
But she was dragged into the protest and founded her own National League for Democracy (NLD). The government in May 1990 conducted the first multi-party election in 30 years and Suu Kyi's NLD won 392 out of a possible 492 people. The army, however, declined to relinquish control and ruled the countries as SLORC until 1997.
SLORC was abrogated in 1997 and restored as the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) from mighty local army commandants who were part of the SLORC. In 1991, Aung San Suu Kyi was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for her non-violent fight for democracy and people. Much of her 1989-2010 period was in some way imprisoned for her attempts to move democracy to military-ruled Myanmar.
Parliamentary ballots were conducted in Myanmar on 8 November 2015. This was the first frankly controversial election in Myanmar since 1990, which was then cancelled by the country's army dictators. Aung San Suu Kyi's NLD won a landmark election, gaining almost 80% of the votes.
However, according to the draft bill drawn up by the army, the army will receive 25% of the Hluttaw (parliament) seat. There is also a veteran army that vetoes any amendment to the Basic Law. That is what the army refers to as "disciplined democracy". Although Aung San Suu Kyi has won her own political group, she cannot become president because Rule 59F would disqualify anyone whose "legitimate child remains loyal to a strange power".
It was part of the 2008 constitutional treaty and is widely considered to have been transposed to keep Aung San Suu Kyi away from the chair. Aung San Suu Kyi, however, has said on several occasions that she will stand above the individual who nominated her for president. Much of Myanmar has evolved in the last four to five years since the last deeply non-democratic election in 2010.
It will be a delicate process with multilevel negotiation. It is hoped that the NLD administration will be a reconciling and united administration that transcends the identities, cultures and politics of this highly varied and conflict-ridden state. The NLD's success in forming an efficient representational regime will truly mark the beginning of a new age of democracy and wealth in Myanmar.