7 STEP ROADMAP TO DEMOCRACY
(1) Reconvening of the National Convention that has been adjourned since 1996.
(2) After the successful holding of the National Convention, step by step implementation of the process necessary for the emergence of a genuine and disciplined democratic system.
(3) Drafting of a new constitution in accordance with basic principles and detailed basic principles laid down by the National Convention.
(4) Adoption of the constitution through national referendum.
(5) Holding of free and fair elections for Pyithu Hluttaws (Legislative bodies) according to the new constitution.
(6) Convening of Hluttaws attended by Hluttaw members in accordance with the new constitution.
(7) Building a modern, developed and democratic nation by the state leaders elected by the Hluttaw; and the government and other central organs formed by the Hluttaw.
The May 2010 election is the fifth step of the government’s seven-step “roadmap” to a disciplined democracy; a programme announced by Prime Minister Gen. Khin Nyunt on 30 August 2003 in an effort to restart the transition process which began after the 1988 uprisings. (Link to Speech)
Though promising to hand over power to a democratically elected government after a coup in 1988, the military regime’s confrontation with the democratic opposition led by Aung San Suu Kyi and her party that won the 1990 elections has stalled the process for almost 20 years. The creation of the National Convention is seen as a replacement of the 1990 elected general assembly, which was transformed from a legislative body to a constitutional writing one after the government’s decision to set the terms for transition before transferring power. The convention faced strong criticism over its undemocratic proceedings and was suspended for 7 years following the withdrawal of NLD representatives.
The roadmap was a renewed effort to push the transition process under the leadership of the military and to create a civil-military system of government. Despite ongoing domestic and international pressures, the military government has managed to move ahead with its programme with minimal inclusion of the opposition
Step 1: Reconvening of the National Convention that has been adjourned since 1996
May 17 – July 9, 2004: First post-“Roadmap” National Convention session resumes at a purpose-built hall called Nyaunghnapin Camp in Hwambi Township, north of Rangoon.
February 17 – 31 March, 2005: Second session to discuss legislative power sharing with 1,075 delegates
December 5, 2005 – January 31, 2006: Third post-“Roadmap” session in Nyaunghnapin Camp with 1,074 of 1,080 invited delegates attending. The session “adopted the detailed basic principles of the chapters on the sharing of the executive and judicial powers.” And the role of the armed forces in the future political system.
October 10 – December 29, 2006: Fourth session of the National Convention completes the chapters on the role of the military (Tatmadaw), and national legislature, comprising the People’s Assembly (Pyithu Hluttaw, the lower house) and Nationalities Assembly (Amyotha Hluttaw, the upper house), and the fundamental rights and duties of citizens.
July 18, 2007: Final session of the National Convention makes “some amendments, additions and nullification to some of the points... to ensure that the constitution is free from flaws and weaknesses.” The final seven chapters of the constitution will also be completed.
September 3, 2007: The National Convention concludes with the adoption of the Fundamental Principles and Detailed Basic Principles.
Step 2: After the successful holding of the National Convention, step by step implementation of the process necessary for the emergence of a genuine and disciplined democratic system
Step 3: Drafting of a new constitution in accordance with basic principles and detailed basic principles laid down by the National Convention
December 3, 2007: First meeting of a 54-member Constitution Drafting Commission to frame the constitution from the Fundamental Principles and Detailed Basic Principles of the National Convention
Feb 19, 2008: Constitution Drafting Commission has finalized the constitution [Download Constitution]
Step 4: Adoption of the constitution through national referendum
May 10–15, 2008: Despite the devastating cyclone which killed 77,738 and left 55,917 missing, the Burmese Government goes ahead with the referendum. The new constitution is ratified after 92.48% of the 91.8% voter turnout voted in favour.