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Rallies to pave way for Suu Kyi’s presidency

Publication Date : 18-05-2014

 

Political rallies have spread to sway the sentiment in major cities, including Yangon and Mandalay, calling for amendments for Sections 436 and 59, paragraph F of the 2008 Constitution.

The charter rewrite, if it happens, will effectively remove the obstacles and pave way for National League for Democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi to contest for the presidency at the next general election.

Section 436 poses a major obstacle for charter change and Section 59 stipulates for qualifications to contest for public office, seen as a ban against Suu Kyi to run for the presidency.

The NLD and the 88 Generation are co-organisers for the rallies over the weekend, planning for public lecture designed to raise awareness on the necessity of amend the charter.

The petition to amend Section 436 will be circulated for public debate from May 27 to July 19. Sponsors of the petition are the NLD, the 88 Generation Peace and Open Society, student unions, labour unions and other political organisations.

In their joint statement, the NLD and 88 GPOS air their view that Section 436 has been designed to block instead of allowing charter amendments.

At today’s Yangon rally, organisers said there was no obstacle for charter change like Section 436 anywhere in the world. In order to advance forward democracy to meet the people’s aspirations, the controversial provision should be amended, they said.

They also stated that this provision had been drafted and enacted without the consent of MPs.

The advocate Tin Aung said “The 2008 Constitution should be amended. Not only the Section 436 but the entire Chapter 12 should be amended. Some people do not have in-depth understanding of Section 436. The lecture held in Yangon and Mandalay will give information to the people.”

Likewise in Ngaputaw Township,  Ayeyawady Region, which is the native town of the president Thein Sein, peaceful demonstration calling to amend those sections was held on May 16. A crowd of 300 people showed up at the NLD-led rally.

“The 2008 Constitution was drafted and approved by those in power. Now we have the chance to express our wish. I believe only Daw Aung San Suu Kyi can save our country. That’s why I want to amend the Section 59 (F). I think this section bans her to be the president,” said Zaw Win Aung who was at the rally.

The NLD is presently trying to amend the Constitution through the Parliament. Outside the legislature, NLD leader Suu Kyi has been giving public talks to raise awareness on relevant issues.

In another development, the authorities of Ngaputaw Township refused to grant permit for the demonstrations against land grabbing and human rights violation.

 

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