Political Stalemate in Burma

A “technical problem” regarding the parliamentary oath has created a political stalemate in Burma. Aung San Suu Kyi and members of her political party are refusing to take their seats in parliament over the oath’s wording, from “safeguard” to “respect,” a move that risks unraveling the fragile and unprecedented detente between the opposition and the military-backed government.

They have vowed to amending the wording of the 2008 constitution because it was drafted under military rule and ensures the army inordinate power. Suu Kyi said she hoped the “problem will be smoothed over without too much difficulty before too long, and that we’ll be able to serve our country not just outside parliament — as we have been doing for the last 20 odd years — but also from within the national assembly.”

However, the dispute over the oath could spiral into a major setback before the National League for Democracy (NLD) party even enter parliament.

“It’s a very high-risk strategy for political gains that are not quite clear,” says Richard Horsey, a former United Nations official in Myanmar. “It’s wasting precious time that could be spent on actual policy making.”

I don’t know if it’s worth it to debate over constitutional semantics when Burmese are concerned with lack of jobs, healthcare and educational opportunities.

One Response to Political Stalemate in Burma

  1. Pingback: “Only Time Will Tell in Burma” « Orange County for Darfur Blog

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