Jul 3, 2014

Myanmar - Myanmar opposition's charter change campaign tops 3m signatures

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More than 3 million people have already signed the petition to amend the Constitution drafted by the military in 2008, according to the opposition National League for Democracy party.

NLD spokesman Nyan Win said the tally was preliminary as not all signatures had been counted since the party launched the campaign on May 27 along with 88 Generation Peace and Open Society, a group that comprises former student leaders of the 1988 uprising against military rule.

Nyan Win said he was confident that the campaign would reach its target of 16 million signatures to amend Section 436 of the charter, which stipulates that three-quarters of Parliament’s members must support any constitutional amendment in order for it to become legal.

The charter also gives the military 25 per cent of Parliament’s seats.
“Last week the number rose above 3 million, according to the figures that reached us,” Nay Win said. “More [signatures] are one the way, especially from remote villages. They will arrive soon. These still do not cover the entire country. The campaign is still on,” he added.

The campaign runs until July 19. Nyan Win said the total number of signatures collected would be announced at the end of July.

Meanwhile, the campaign is attracting support from other political groups as well as artists, poets and organisations that assist the disabled.

NLD chairperson Aung San Suu Kyi has said Myanmar will achieve greater progress in national reconciliation, national unity and the rule of law after the charter is amended. 

NLD and the Generation 88 members have held forums across the country to explain the necessity of amending a charter that leaves the military in control of the country. They have also distributed pamphlets that clearly explain the need to amend Section 436.

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