Democratic reform initiated with constitution to ensure security of military leaders: Shwe Mann

Writer: 
Min Naing Soe
Thura Shwe Mann, chairman of Union Parliament's Legal Affairs and Special Cases Assessment Commission, makes discussion during a DVB debate academy.

Myanmar initiated democratic reform with the 2008 constitution designed to ensure the security of military leaders and former government officials, said Thura Shwe Mann, chairman of Union Parliament's Legal Affairs and Special Cases Assessment Commission.

Shwe Mann made the remark during a debate academy organised by DVB news agency under the title "Military Rule and Democracy" at the commission office in Nay Pyi Taw on September 7.

He, however, said no matter how power was seized, it must be handed over to the people.

"Democracy revolution began with a constitution in 2008, which was designed to ensure security for military leaders and ex-government leaders in handing over power to the people. Without this constitution, we can imagine whether today's situation could have arrived or not. I don't mean it's good or bad or it's perfect. I am presenting objective conditions in order that we can realise real situations," said Shwe Mann.

He said military coups were staged in 1962 and 1988 under the instructions of the then-military leaders, adding that there always exited the military under every government.

"Anyway, national sovereignty is for the people. Regardless of how power was seized, it must be handed over to the people," said Shwe Mann.

Some expressed fear by questioning whether there could be backsliding on democracy. But instead, all should work together for national development by exercising democracy in a correct way, he commented.

He stressed the need to have responsibility, accountability, discipline and transparency under democratic system. He also said democracy could not be flourished without rule of law.

Thura Shwe Mann is a former military general. He was considered the third most powerful man under the previous military government.