Myanmar's draft constitution ensures that pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi cannot make a political comeback and guarantees a strong military presence in parliament, according to a copy obtained by reporters yesterday.
The 457-article, 194-page draft was completed in February but has not been made public.
The draft charter allots 25 percent of seats in both houses of parliament to the military.
It also effectively bars Aung San Suu Kyi from becoming president or a member of parliament because she was married to a foreigner, maintaining a controversial clause from guidelines used to draft the charter.
The junta announced in February it would hold a referendum next month on the new constitution, followed by general elections in 2010. The junta calls the process its "roadmap to democracy."
Critics have denounced it as a sham designed to perpetuate military rule. The drafting process did not include Aung San Suu Kyi or members of her opposition National League for Democracy.
The draft constitution legitimizes a military takeover in the event of an emergency. It empowers the president to transfer "all powers" to the military's commander in chief for "a duration of not less than one year" if a state of emergency arises.
The draft also stipulates that no amendments to the text can be made without the consent of more than 75 percent of lawmakers -- making proposed changes very unlikely unless supported by the military's representatives in parliament.
The new constitution is supposed to replace the one scrapped when the junta took power in 1988.
The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) removed former minister of foreign affairs Qin Gang (秦剛) from his post after an investigation concluded that he had conducted an affair and fathered a child while serving as ambassador to the US, the Wall Street Journal reported. Top officials were told in August that a CCP inquiry into Qin uncovered “lifestyle issues,” the newspaper reported yesterday, citing people familiar with the situation that it did not describe. That phrase usually means sexual misbehavior of some type in the parlance of Chinese officialdom. Two of the people said the affair led to the birth of a child in
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