Military MPs suggest including more minorities in political dialogues

Military MPs attending parliamentary session seen. (Photo-EMG)

Military representatives in parliament have suggested that more MPs representing ethnic minorities and minority political parties should be involved in political dialogues, according to sources present at today’s parliamentary session.

The MPs sent their suggestions to the Speaker of the House of Nationalities.

MP Dr Banyar Aung Moe said: “The six-party talk will be about amending Section 436 of the constitution. If we can amend the section, it will be easy for the constitutional amendment committee to discuss and amend other parts of the constitution. If we cannot amend all sections in this parliament term, we will continue to amend them in next parliament term.”

The MP suggested the amendment of Section 436 to pave the way for future amendments to the constitution. He recommended replacing the words “It shall be amended with the prior approval of more than seventy-five per cent of all representatives of the parliament” with “It shall be amended with the prior approval of two-thirds of all representatives of the parliament.” He also called for the adoption of the proportional representation system in the elections of House of Nationalities, the House of Representatives and regional and state parliaments.

MP Myint Tun also called for the modification of Section 436 and urged parliament to implement its approved proposals before their deadlines and to achieve national reconciliation and an overall ceasefire plan before the 2015 election.

Myint Tun continued that the six-party talk must take place as soon as possible. 

“The situation will be better if six leaders discuss the future of the country. All seem to accept their instructions. A six-party talk allows for more discussion as there are fewer people to be heard. A six-party talk would not need to last more than five minutes. The Commander-in-Chief of the defence services would only take ten minutes to attend a six-party talk. A six-party talk needs to be held once every week or two. If they want to invite ethnic representatives, they can invite them. But if more people are involved in these political talks, there will be no warmness. It would be better the country if all parties were friendly. The whole country is expecting it,” said Myint Tun.

Brigadier General Kyaw Lwin Oo said: “Candidates from over 100 ethnic groups cannot be represented in the political dialogue, and it is not respectful to appoint just one representative for all ethnic groups. At least a representative from each of the seven major ethnics groups should be included in the political dialogues.”

Khin Aung Myint, Speaker of House of Nationalities instructed the MPs to submit the points they want to discuss in the six-party talks before January 24.