USDP vows to block any charter changes on 59(f)

By NYAN HLAING LYNN | FRONTIER

NAY PYI TAW — The Union Solidarity and Development Party says it will stand firm in its opposition to a constitutional clause widely seen as a tool to prevent State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi from assuming the presidency.

 “This law should not be amended, is my opinion,” said U Hla Thein, a member of the party’s central executive committee, during a Thursday press conference at the USDP’s Nay Pyi Taw headquarters.

Section 59(f) of the constitution, drafted by Myanmar’s former military junta and adopted in 2008, prevents Myanmar citizens with immediate family members holding foreign citizenship from contesting the presidency. Aung San Suu Kyi’s two sons are British citizens.

The National League for Democracy led a petition campaign to amend the constitution in 2014 to seek the repeal of the clause and a revision of Section 436 of the charter, which mandates that constitutional amendments must have the support of more than 75 percent of Pyidaungsu Hluttaw lawmakers.

Support more independent journalism like this. Sign up to be a Frontier member.

As the constitution also sets aside one quarter of all parliamentary seats for serving Tatmadaw officers, the latter clause grants the military an effective veto on amendments.

With the support of former USDP chairman U Shwe Mann, then the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw speaker, the NLD attempted to pass amendments to both clauses in June 2015 while in opposition.

The move was voted down by the military bloc, and was one of the principal reasons for the ouster of Shwe Mann and his supporters from their USDP leadership positions later that year.

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on email

More stories

Latest Issue

Stories in this issue
Myanmar enters 2021 with more friends than foes
The early delivery of vaccines is one of the many boons of the country’s geopolitics, but to really take advantage, Myanmar must bury the legacy of its isolationist past.
Will the Kayin BGF go quietly?
The Kayin State Border Guard Force has come under intense pressure from the Tatmadaw over its extensive, controversial business interests and there’s concern the ultimatum could trigger fresh hostilities in one of the country’s most war-torn areas.

Stay on top of Myanmar current affairs with our Daily Briefing and Media Monitor newsletters

Our fortnightly magazine is available in print, digital, or a combination beginning at $80 a year

Sign up for our Frontier Fridays newsletter. It’s a free weekly round-up featuring the most important events shaping Myanmar