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Myanmar moves toward amending constitution
Source: https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20190130_14/
Source Date: Wednesday, January 30, 2019
Focus: Citizen Engagement
Country: Myanmar
Created: Jan 30, 2019

Myanmar's parliament has approved a proposal for the establishment of a committee to draw up amendments to the country's constitution, which currently gives strong political power to the military.

The ruling National League for Democracy, led by Myanmar's de-facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi, submitted the proposal on Tuesday. Party members say the current constitutional framework makes it difficult for the party to pursue its policy agenda.

The proposal was cleared with majority support, but met with strong opposition from military lawmakers.

The NLD will face a much higher hurdle when it tries to pass proposals for constitutional amendments.

Such proposals will require support from more than 75 percent of the lawmakers, but the constitution reserves one quarter of parliament seats for the military.

The NLD won the 2015 election on promises of constitutional change. But it has made little progress since coming into power nearly three years ago.

The party's latest move is apparently aimed at stressing its efforts toward democratization ahead of elections slated for next year. But it is also expected to raise tension with the military.

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