The Military Council is working to amend the 2008 Constitution; some of those arrested and sentenced were released

The Military Council is working to amend the 2008 Constitution; some of those arrested and sentenced were released

Myanmar Spring Chronicle – October 29 Scenes
MoeMaKa, October 30 2022

It has been in the news for the past few months that the military council has been holding talks with some political parties and some armed organizations to amend some parts of the 2008 Constitution.

It can be seen that the clear purpose is to prevent some ethnic resistance organizations from participating in armed conflicts and attacking the military council as a common enemy. Last May, the ethnic resistance organizations and the ABSDF were invited to hold peace talks. Around 7 ethnic groups went to meet and talk, and the military council portrayed them as peace talks and spread propaganda.

Ethnic resistance organizations such as UWSA, RCSS, SSPP/SSA, ALP, MNSP, PNLO, and KNU/KNLA (PC) have held strategic or tactical meetings with the military council, but none of them seem to think that there will be success from these peace talks.

The relevant armed group did not want to affect the status quo and knew that the military council would not accept it politically, but the discussion was done as a platform to raise awareness about a goal or a topic that they wanted to express. For example, the Wa ethnic group is asking to be defined as a state rather than self-governance.

Ethnic resistance organizations usually see the political problems of the country as a competition among the Myanmar political forces that control the central power not related to them. According to their decades of real-life experience, it is not a position to say that they are wrong. In successive central governments, the positions regarding the federal rights of the ethnic groups were not very different from one ruling government to the other, and since they have been resolved only through armed attacks for generations, the current military coup is generally evaluated as a problem of the central government’s acquisition of power.

They don’t trust the military council either, and they are also somewhat suspicious of the NUG, which has emerged as a new group to attack the military council.

Regarding the representative election system and issues related to the 2008 Constitutional amendment, the military council is discussing not only with the ethnic resistance organizations, but also with some ethnic and local parties that accepted the military council’s invitation from the political parties. Some of the major political parties that stand as officially registered political parties are not participating in the discussions, but some mainland minority parties and ethnic parties are participating in the discussions.


In a recent news article, the leader of the SNDP party in the discussion committee told the news media that they have obtained an agreement to amend the fact that the President of the Union Government nominates and appoints the Chief Minister of the State or Region from the list of elected Hluttaw representatives without being voted on by representatives of that State or Region, known as Section 261 of the 2008 Constitution. It also means that the military council agreed to amend Section 261 of the 2008 Constitution, which NLD representatives objected to amending during the discussion in the parliament during the previous NLD government.


Any politician and any observer will know that it is not easy to escape from the current political crisis by agreeing to amend the non-essential parts of the 2008 Constitution. The political crisis can only be resolved if the military agrees to leave politics.


Other news these days is the release of 3 artists, a Union Minister, and 2 members of the former Union Election Commission (UEC) under the NLD government. There has been no official announcement from the military council yet, but according to confirmation from close relatives and family members, the news media have reported it.


Although it is difficult to predict why the former chairman and a member of UEC who were sentenced were released before serving their sentences fully, it can be guessed that the military council selected and released those who had changed or gave up their views and their stance in order to reduce some of the political pressure. On the one hand, it is possible that the military council released such a small number to justify its political compromise before the ASEAN meeting to be held in the coming months.