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UN Special Rapporteur Presses Myanmar For Constitutional Reform

By RTT News
May 23, 2014

The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in Myanmar, Tomás Ojea Quintana, on Friday called on Myanmarese Government to press forward with the on-going process of constitutional reform.

"A country's Constitution should be a reflection of its people's collective aspiration, and it should embrace fundamental principles of democracy and human rights," Ojea Quintana's said.

The independent expert's call comes as the 31-member Parliamentary committee reviews proposed constitutional amendments to the 2008 Constitution with a view to drafting an amendment bill for submission to Parliament.

For the Special Rapporteur, the current constitutional reform process offers a key opportunity to address serious shortcomings which might become further entrenched and destabilize the reform process.

A healthy Constitution must be amended to strengthen democratic attitudes and values, to facilitate national reconciliation and the peace process, and also address the needs of the Myanmar society, as remarked by the country's President in January this year.

However, Quintana cautioned that Myanmar is only at the beginning of a transition and that the rule of law has yet to take root, and warned that the current Constitution contains a number of provisions which undermine the rule of law and fundamental human rights.

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