Myanmar’s ousted democratic leaders rescind Constitution

Nay Pyi Taw, April 1 (IANS) Ousted democratic leaders of Myanmar have said that they were rescinding the country’s 2008 constitution, which gave significant power to the armed forces.

The Committee Representing Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (CRPH), or Parliament, on Wednesday announced the Constitution would be invalid from March 31, reports dpa news agency.

It is however unclear whether this move will have any consequences on the ground due to the February 1 military takeover of the country.

CRPH is an underground cabinet founded by members of the National League for Democracy (NLD), the party of ousted civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

The constitution brought an end to almost 50 years of military dictatorship, but it still gave the army automatically 25 per cent of parliamentary seats and several important ministries.

It was introduced by the military and changes to it are not possible without the consent of the armed forces.

Due to a constitutional clause, Suu Kyi was never able to become President, but as de facto leader she led the country as State Counsellor.

On Thursday, many people in Myanmar celebrated the CRPH announcement, with protesters burning the Constitution on the street.

“We must win and the junta must fail. They have pay for what they have done to civilians,” Kyi Min, an entrepreneur, told dpa in Yangon.

After Suu Kyi’s NLD won a clear majority in elections last November, the military staged the coup, arguing the election had been rigged.

Suu Kyi was arrested and has since then been under house arrest.

The military has violently cracked down on the ensuing protests.

According to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP), a non-profit, at least 536 people have been killed by military forces since the coup.

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