Smelling around the advantages and disadvantages of ongoing electoral system of Myanmar

In November,2010, multiparty Democracy Election that was faraway for several years could be held again. However, it was the make-up election only that Union Strength and Development Party (USDP), a partner of military dictatorship tried to get the power or authority in various ways. In the second election in 2015 and the third election in 2020, NLD party (National League for Democracy) won the almost all the positions of candidates, passing all the parties that based on the ethnic groups, including (USDP). That situation distinctly showed the desire that all citizens wanted to against the dictatorship and also mind-set that is reliable on a leader totally. In 2008 constitution, it is found that the form of forming parties are divided into two paragraphs. They are the parties that shall dominant all over the country and the parties that shall carry out within the respective division (or) state. Although it has no parties to perform for a Region, there are a lot of parties to represent the nationalities in provinces. According to the experience of former election’s result, it can be seen that the two parties which represent the whole country grasp or hold the result of election. It was scarce that the candidates from ethnic parties could involve in Hluttaw. It was pointed out that the situation is caused by the election system which was used in Myanmar.

Similarly, in the world, the same situation as like Myanmar can be found in the United State of America which is called the grandfather of democracy. This situation is concerned with the electoral system only but not related with the mature sense of democracy; and the enrichment of democratic philosophy.

So, there are claims to amend the electoral system in the first Hluttaw sessions. As the present electoral system is First Past the Post (FPTP) that the winner takes all the positions of candidates, it is a kind of system in which the giant parties have strong points but the small parties have the little chance to take part in Hluttaw.

It is difficult to hear the voice of small ethnic parties in the Hluttaw by that system. According to the experience of former Hluttaw, sometimes, although it emerged, the acknowledgement of candidates was very little. Myanmar is observed by the world as a place where the long term civil war has been happening in the world, being devoid of domestic tranquility.

As the country in which the ethnic groups, the minority groups, grasp the discontent, hate and misunderstanding on Burmese nationality, the majority groups, has lots of difficulties to establish the permanent peaceful National State. A thoughtful leader who has long-term aim can overcome this difficulties. For that situation, the best way that should be acted is that every races have to get the chance to take part in administration of State. That must have the chance to implement their rights and desirability themselves and to defend these things.

In two times of five years term democratic government which starts in 2010, the ,winner giant parties had no strong desire to create that chance, in the other hand, the 2008’ constitution that was created by military junta as their desire barred the chance again. That constitution is a one that drafted by the military which performed the coup in 1988. In other way, the military dictators who acted hegemony for years, created this constitution to overwhelm and control the country for long. However, the weakness of the constitution is that if a party won the election, as a land slide victory, it can get the situation to control the institutions and laws except amending the constitution and controlling the army. Moreover, it can create more chance to win the next election again than the other parties. For instance, during the administration’s period, having a chance to form Election Commission and the constitutional tribunals in accordance with their desire, having a chance to appoint the government including the prime minister of states and divisions, having a chance to compete in the next election for the members of government, including the president, don’t do to resign from their positions etc… are the facts that are strong points than the powerless parties.

In the duration of Hluttaw (2015-2020), NLD, National League for Democracy party tried to amend the constitution by opposing the military just before the election. But, they could not amend this as they were unsupported by the army.

In this unsuccessful nomination, there were no such descriptions expected by the ethnic groups as in chapter (5), section (261) of constitution, to amend the provisions that the president can choose the prime ministers of states and divisions; to amend the electoral system that is better than the present one to allow the small ethnic parties into the Hluttaw. So, the misunderstanding of nationalities on the winner party which is based on Burmese nationality came to increase more and more. It became an obstacle for the country in which various ethnic groups live to build up the National State. However, when we think of the side of NLD, according to the present constitution as the military concerns with Hluttaw and Government, it is assumed that the civilian government did not put these facts as they worried about that they become more difficult and the political power of military can come to increase.

Yet, the military attempted coup on 1st February, 2021 by arresting the leaders of the elected government. Thus, the third Hluttaw could not be summoned as well as formed the government. The collective racial Hluttaws, including most of the winner NLD candidates, formed the CRPH (Committee of Representatives of Public Hluttaw and could comprise the NUG, National Unity Government and the Resultant Council of National Unity (Liberated area). Besides, they drafted the federal promise or pledge in accord with the agreement of National Unity Council. Due to this pledge, It can be seen certainly that the military coup will be against and Myanmar has to pace as a National State or a Federal State.

In establishing the country that all of the ethnic groups agree, as like Myanmar Saying “A good beginning ensure a satisfactory ending” to be a nice beginning, needs to prepare these circumstances, to be precise for all; to have guarantee, to be reachable, in detail now.

It is the standard unit of all of the Federal States in the world that giving the self-determination to the ethnic groups and provinces that include in a Federal State. But, owing to some circumstances, it happens like saying that “give them but they did not get it “. For instance, although the authorities were given, they didn’t get the chance to perform them as candidates cannot be reachable.

It can be seen that, that electoral system which has been used in times in Myanmar came into this situation finally due to above facts.

Some racial candidates who represent the giant parties led by Burmese nationality have to take part in Hluttaw a little, but the regional ethnic parties represented the only their ethnic groups get little political power. The ethnic groups are conditioned onto the road of arm struggle by this situation, marginalizing from the legal political society.

The situation cannot appear later again, it is needed to perform that political elements who represent the races can take part a personal appearance in each Hluttaw and each position of member of government. To participate like this, the system that have to reform mainly is the electoral system. So, it is a special need to reform the suitable electoral system, to include the small parties, for at least a Hluttaw in election. Now, as it is decided to abrogate the 2008’ constitution drafted by military completely, it does not need to consider, except, to appear the Federal State that all of the ethnic groups can participate. To end up the army that involved in polities completely, it needs to act abiding promises and performances. Like the book’s title “Small is beautiful” written by German – English economist “Ernst Friedrich Schumacher” (16 August 1911-4 September 1977), despite the electoral system is not distinct like the Federal Constitution and Sharing the State Power, it is the most important part and doesn’t have to set aside for the National State included various kinds of ethnic groups.

Thet Hnin (Yoma)