Commentary on “First constitutional change bid in four years kicks off in parliament”

Amending section 436(a) in order to lower the Tatmadaw veto power of 25% will be next to impossible, as any crucial constitutional amendment law needs more than 75% of parliamentary representatives. Thus, the unelected 25% Tatmadaw representatives for the parliament could block any amendment proposal.

Since NLD spokesperson, U Aung Shin said section 436(a) amendment will be successful against all odds and the party had devised a strategy to negotiate the hurdles without exactly mentioning it, we could only speculate.

One will be to propose the elected Tatmadaw MPs stay out from voting process through simple majority parliamentary procedure. In other words, a proposal of Tatmadaw unelected MPs’ voting rights be revoked through parliamentary procedure, where only 51% vote is needed to become law. If this is done, only the elected MPs will be eligible to vote for section 436(a) amendment, which will sail through with ease as NLD has the majority vote, even without the 11% ethnic political parties vote.

If this fails, another approach will be to ask for referendum on whether the people like or dislike the military-drafted constitution. This proposal can circumvent section 12 constitutional amendment and pull through the parliament with simple majority voting procedure, which will pass through with ease.

Other than that, no one knows for sure what the NLD has up its sleeve, we only have to wait and see

SOURCE: THE SHAN HERALD AGENCY FOR NEWS