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The opposition National League for Democracy (NLD) party and 88 Generation Peace and Open Society (88GPOS) concluded on Saturday a nationwide petition campaign calling for the amendment of constitutional Article 436.
In recent months, the NLD, along with the support of activist group 88GPOS – which was formed by the students who led the 1988 uprising against the military regime – travelled across the country to 17 cities to bolster support for the amendment of Article 436, which allows for the military to have automatic veto power over any proposed amendments.
Tun Tun Hein, chairperson of the NLD’s Constitution Amendment Working Committee, said that the party’s headquarters in Rangoon has instructed all its branches to count the total number of signatures they obtained.
“We started the campaign across the country, including the 17 cities, from May until 19 July, when we wrapped up the campaign. We have instructed all our branch offices to send over the signatures they have in one week,” Tun Tun Hein said.
As of 27 June, the NLD and 88GPOS garnered 3.3 million signatures.
Tun Tun Hein added that apart from “minor disturbances”, the process of gathering the signatures went smoothly.
“We can say the campaign generally went safe and sound, apart from minor disturbances in some areas,” Tun Tun Hein said. “It was mostly successful.”
Throughout their nationwide campaign, the NLD and 88GPOS encountered last-minute objections from local authorities who barred them from holding their events, including in Chin and Shan states. In addition, two local NLD officials from Magwe Division and an 88GPOS member are currently legal action from local authorities for using a loudspeaker without first obtaining permission.