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UN expert welcome move to amend Myanmar’s constitution

  • Published at 05:07 pm February 7th, 2019
Yanghee Lee-UN human rights investigator
File photo: United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar and university professor Yanghee Lee speaks during a press conference in Dhaka on January 25, 2019 AFP

Myanmar’s 2008 constitution was drafted by the former military government and has been a key stumbling point in the country’s ability to move from decades of military rule towards democracy

The UN Special Rapporteur Yanghee Lee on the condition of human rights in Myanmar, who has been critical of failing democratic reforms in the country, has welcomed the establishment of a parliamentary committee to amend the uncertain constitution.

“The establishment of this committee is a positive development that I hope will aid Myanmar to truly transition to democracy,” said Yanghee Lee.

“The people wish the constitution to be amended, and I encourage the new joint committee to carry out their will,” she said in a press statement issued in Geneva today.

The ruling National League for Democracy (NLD) party, driven by Aung San Suu Kyi, pledged to amend the constitution during its 2015 national election campaign, which it won by a landslide.

Myanmar’s 2008 constitution was drafted by the former military government and has been a key stumbling point in the country’s ability to move from decades of military rule towards democracy. It reserves 25% of the seats in parliament to members of the military, as well as designating military control of the Ministries of Home Affairs, Defence Services and Border Affairs.

“The current constitution is not democratic, and Myanmar cannot be considered a democracy without it being amended,” the special rapporteur said.