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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2402

New Myanmar constitution keeps military dominant

Bangkok, 08 April, (Asiantribune.com): Leaked copies of Myanmar’s new constitution secretly circulating in Yangon, shows that the military will receive sweeping powers that ensure its dominance even after elections.Aung San Suu Kyi will not be allowed to stand for election in the army-ruled Myanmar because she was once married to a foreigner the draft of the proposed constitution says. Aung San Suu Kyi will not be allowed to stand for election in the army-ruled Myanmar because she was once married to a foreigner the draft of the proposed constitution says.

Ms Aung San Suu Kyi, the detained pro-democracy leader who is juntas
most formidable foe, is barred from the presidency and she would be
unlikely to qualify even for a parliamentary seat, the document shows.

Suu Kyi, 62, was married to British academic Michael Aris from 1972 until his death in 1999, and as such was entitled to hold a British passport. Therefore, the detained Nobel laureate and opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi will not be allowed to stand for election in the army-ruled Myanmar because she was once married to a foreigner the draft of the proposed constitution says.

A copy of the draft charter confirmed that a “person who is entitled to rights and privileges of a foreign government or a citizen of a foreign country” cannot run for office.

The ruling junta plans to bring the constitution to a referendum in May, in anticipation of elections slated for 2010.

The public has so far had no chance to review the final draft, and a handful of leaked copies of the 194-page document are the only versions so far available.

Accordingly the leaked draft, it clearly shows that while the constitution would set up a civilian government and grant civil rights to the people, it is peppered with caveats that allow the military to easily reassert direct control in the interest of national security.

State of emergency could be declared not only to battle insurgencies, but to combat the threat of ‘disintegration of national solidarity’. The military would receive immunity from prosecution for actions taken under emergency rule.

Existing security laws used to jail political dissidents and suppress dissent would remain in effect, and parties would be required to practice discipline.

In the meantime it is learnt that the Prison authorities in Insein prison are reportedly trying to convince inmates to support the national referendum in May in exchange for an early release.

But under the referendum law introduced in February this year, people serving prison terms for any offence are ineligible to vote while they are detained.

On the other hand, Opposition leaders are urging the Burmese living inside Burma to decisively cast ‘No’ votes in the forthcoming referendum.

“We urge the people from all walks of life, ethnic nationalities and their organizations to go to the polling stations without fail and to decisively cast a ‘No’ vote”

- Asian Tribune -

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