State power in 2011 managed to be transferred to a quasi-civilian government by the previous military regime in accordance with the 2008 Constitution—but only after the ruling State Peace and Development Council was assured of its members’ safety, said Thura Shwe Mann, Speaker of Union Assembly (Pyidaungsu Hluttaw).

Shwe Mann made the comment at mass meeting held in Oaktaya District, Nay Pyi Taw on Saturday.

“The previous military regime could only transfer power to the new government after it made sure that the one-sided constitution guaranteed their life security,” said the Speaker.

“Without the 2008 Constitution, state power could not have been handed over in our lifetime. Although the previous government did their work for the best of reasons and with a good attitude, the people disapproved of their activities. No one would dare transfer his or her power to others unless life and property could be kept safe and sound. But the previous government dared to hand over power to the new government.”

Shwe Mann added that, had such a power transfer not occurred, most people in Myanmar would have continued suffering like people in other countries run by military dictatorships, such as those in Africa and the Middle Eastern region.

“Regarding legislative and legal activities, the provisions in the constitution and existing laws cannot always be regarded as true. As a result, some provisions inappropriate to the current reality should be amended. If this does not happen, there will be problems,” the Speaker said.

“The Union Assembly will continue handling amendments to the constitution depending on the report. If an amendment does something good for the State and the people, then that change will be made. If not, it will remain as it was. The constitution must be amended without harming the image of the development of the country. National consolidation, national reconciliation, and peace are main factors in amending the constitution.”

Shwe Mann added that the constitution must be amended with far-sightedness and bravery.
“We mustn’t turn a blind eye to the constitution, considering it is good. Speedy amendments are not possible,” he said.

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