Myanmar’s transition has kicked off and now Aung San Suu Kyi must accelerate it with her leadership, launching new civil, institutional and economic reforms, Sandra Zampa, the president of the Friends of Burma Parliamentary Association explained to news agency AGI. However, the international community will have to support it in this irreversible course of events. On Monday, Feb. 1, Myanmar’s new parliament, elected in the Nov 8 elections, will be instated, opening a new phase for the country, under the rule of the party led by Aung San Suu Kyi, which has gained a large parliamentary majority.
The Nobel prize laureate cannot be appointed president, because of her marriage with a British citizen, but will become vice president and will certainly play a central role in guiding Myanmar through the democratic transition. Ms Sandra Zampa explained: “Thanks to the momentum for political change given by the Nov. 8 election, the transition will be accelerated although it will take time before the country can become democratic. After the instatement of the new government, the democratic process, initiated with the national reconciliation, will have to come into force, stabilising the role of the army and guaranteeing fundamental liberties. Probably also the Constitution drafted by the military in 2008 will have to be amended to enable Aung San Suu Kyi to be elected president and to put an end to ethnic conflicts. It will take time before the transition is finalised.” Aung San Suu Kyi has recently proposed the establishment of a federal state to settle internal ethnic conflics and achieve “national reconciliation” although the road still appears uphill and some fear that her leadership might be overshadowed.
In this respect, Ms Zampa said: “The road towards national reconciliation could be less arduous than expected. The incumbent government and the military have acknowledged her victory. Aung San Suu Kyi immediately convened them to launch her idea of a national reconciliation. It is the democratic and non-violent approach that she’s had during all her life that makes her credible.”
The leader of the National League for Democracy recently called for a ceasefire in the areas of ethnic conflict as a prerequisite for the country’s democratic development. Ms Zampa continued: “Nothing is easy for her after more than 50 years of dictatorship, but now she and her party have been called to lead the country and this makes a difference. Her leadership is extremely strong and she won’t allow difficulties to weaken it.” The challenges that face the Nobel prize laureate and all of Myanmar are many and not only concern civil rights but also numerous economic reforms, which were shyly introduced by the outgoing government. She added: “Aung San Suu Kyi’s govenment will predictably undertake, as promised, to radically change the country, stricken by poverty and an oppressive dictatorship. Political, economic and social reforms will be a priority on Aung San Suu Kyi’s agenda and her country will become a major player in Asia and throughout the world, as expected.