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Thursday, October 18, 2007

Myanmar forming constitution-drafting commission
Alexis Unkovic at 3:57 PM ET

[JURIST] The military government of Myanmar [JURIST news archive] Thursday said it will form a 54-member commission to draft a new national constitution [JURIST news archive] as the next stage in its seven-step plan to move toward democratic rule. The commission reportedly will be comprised of both military and civilian officials and chaired by Chief Justice U Aung Toe. The government has not specified a timeline for the commission to complete its work. Reuters has more.

So far, Myanmar has only completed the first step of its seven-step plan with the drafting of guidelines for a new constitution [JURIST report] finished in September. Critics, however, contend that the drafting was essentially staged by the junta, and the opposition National League for Democracy (NLD) led by Aung San Suu Kyi [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] largely refused to participate in the process. The country has been governed without a constitution since the military regime took power in 1988. Talks on a new national charter have been underway for 14 years.

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