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October 24, 2019

People’s participation provides power to overcome challenges of democratic transformation

International Democracy Day falls on 15 September, when every democratic country commemorates International Democracy Day.
Myanmar followed a parliamentary democratic system from 1948 to1962 after her independence, and became a member of the International Parliamentary Union. In 1962 the Revolutionary Council took over the reins of state power and Myanmar came under military rule.
Myanmar had no democracy for half a century when ruled by successive military governments.
After multi-party democratic reforms in 2010, Myanmar again became a member of the IPU on 5th April 2012. Since then, Myanmar has observed the day, and today’s 2019 event marks the ninth consecutive commemoration for the country.
In every democratic country around the world, parliamentary legislative institutions are the souls and lifeblood of the foundation of the respective democracy.
Likewise, in a democratic society, government is a basic entity which exists together with political parties, civil societies, other associations and the media.
The democratic system is based upon the theory which states that “democratic government is to serve the people, not that the people are to serve the government”. To nurture democracy, we have to abstain from wrong-doings, and it is necessary for all to take part in establishing democratic roots to foster peace, development, human rights and rule of law.
In the democratic system, parliaments, while exercising legislative power, are exerting their greatest efforts to reflect the people’s voices, people’s aspirations and people’s wills in fulfilling the needs of the people.
It is only natural that people expect, and want to see, instantaneous results from democratic reforms, but it is important to note that in democratic principles, the process takes time as it involves people’s participation and deliberation.
The pace of democracy might be slow, but it is the only way to overcome 21st century challenges.
To reach our goal of democracy, our citizens are also obliged to respect and abide by existing laws, and to set aside ethnicity, religious, regional, ideological and political party differences for the sake of the citizens’ overall socio-economic development.
Myanmar is a multi-ethnic and multi-religious country, as many ethnic nationalities with different cultural backgrounds and faiths live together. It is important to create harmony and unity in diversity.
During a lecture in Singapore last year, the State Counsellor underscored that people’s participation in the democratic transformation process provides powerful strengths, as well as significant challenges. It is indeed a great challenge to integrate the wills and aspirations of the millions of people to highlight the complex diversities of the country.
We believe our journey towards a democratic federal republic might not continue for a great distance, as the citizens of Myanmar will surely overcome successfully the challenges of the democratic transformation process.

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