mandag 11. februar 2019

Why Suu Kyi can’t and won’t democratize Myanmar

Is Myanmar headed towards more representative and less military-steered democracy? On February 6, Myanmar’s parliament voted to establish a new preparatory committee to deliberate amending the country’s military-drafted 2008 constitution, which gives the armed forces an outsized “leadership role” in politics.

The ruling National League for Democracy (NLD) rose to power in a landslide November 2015 election win, in part on a vow to make democratizing changes to the charter. Nearly three years in office, however, the NLD has not yet made those promised amendments, a mark on its record as new elections scheduled for next year start to emerge on the political horizon. State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi’s NLD government has struck a balance with the autonomous military, seen in her dogged defense of the armed forces’ actions in Rakhine state, where internationally criticized “clearance operations” forced over 700,000 Rohingya Muslims into neighboring Bangladesh.