Unfortunately, I have been too busy over the past month to discuss developments in Southeast Asia, but the region hasn’t stood still. Here’s a roundup of recent news:
- Former Mahkamah Konstitusi chief justice Mahfud MD has declared that he would not participate in the Democrat Party primary. He expressed his concern that the results of the primary would not be respected (source: Jakarta Globe).
- The Hluttaw has convened a joint committee to review and propose amendments to the 2008 Constitution (source: New Mandala). It expects its report to go to the floor by the end of this year (source: Eleven Myanmar). While the review process is generally going to be closed, the NLD has been campaigning to make the process more open to the public (source: Eleven Myanmar). Meanwhile, Speaker Shwe Mann has sent mixed signals, suggesting that he would consider changes to the eligibility requirements of presidential candidates but would not bow to outside pressure (source: Myanmar Times). By contrast, Shwe Mann recently announced his support for federalism while speaking in Shan State (source: DVB). Federalism of course had until recently been considered anathema by senior military leaders.
- The Hluttaw is also considering an amendment to the bill on writs. According to Legal Affairs Committee chairman Thura Aung Ko, currently decisions on writs are often decided only by a single justice, which leaves petitioners at the mercy of individual justices. The amendment would require cases to be decided by a bench (source: Myanmar Times). Melissa Crouch has an article about the history of writs in Myanmar (source: I-CONnect).