National Convention

National Convention
   The constitution-drafting body established by the State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC) in 1992. According to SLORC Announcement No. 1/90, a transfer of power from the military regime to a civilian government cannot occur until a new constitution is promulgated. The NC, consisting of 702 delegates, met in plenary session for the first time on January 9, 1993. Delegates included 99 members of political parties that had participated in the General Election of May 27, 1990, including the National League for Democracy, and appointed delegates drawn from six other groups: ethnic nationalities, peasants, workers, intellectuals, civil servants, and "other invitees." In November 1995, Aung San Suu Kyi withdrew members of the National League for Democracy from the NC, protesting its undemocratic procedures. When Prime Minister Khin Nyunt announced a "road map" for democratization following the "Black Friday" Incident of May 30, 2003, one of the first goals was completion of the new constitution. On May 17, 2004, the NC reconvened near Hmawbi, outside of Rangoon (Yangon). Over 1,000 delegates attended, but there were doubts about whether it could draft a basic law that would be considered legitimate, not only because the National League for Democracy refused to participate (Daw Suu Kyi was again under house arrest), but also because six ethnic armed groups that had signed cease-fires with the post-1988 military regime, including the Kachin Independence Army/Organization and the New Mon State Party, recommended that the draft constitution be amended to reduce the Tatmadaw's role in politics, a proposal Khin Nyunt flatly rejected. Just as in the 1993-1996 period, no opposition party now has a role in the work of the organizing committee. Although the NC has published a detailed outline of a proposed new constitution, it had not produced a final constitutional draft as of mid-2005. Reasons for the delay seem to include a desire on the part of the military regime to postpone transition to a civilian government and difficulties in working out constitutional arrangements between the central government and armed ethnic minority groups living in the border areas.

Historical Dictionary of Burma (Myanmar). . 2014.

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