Mon State-based Civil Society Organizations (CSO’s) have released a report examining Myanmar’s 2020 elections and conflict dynamics. The initiative is part of the Civic Action for Free and Fair Election (CAFFE) Project. The research team used a survey methodology of residents from 14 townships in southern Myanmar.
The project examined the expectations of people from 2015 to 2020 in the areas of politics, economics and peace. The report was released on October 19th.
Titled 2015 Experiences and 2020 Prospects”, the report calls for greater decentralization of the Union government, and for relevant parliaments to elect the State Chief Minister and reduce decentralization.
“Actually, the 2008 constitution has not been amended, so the State Chief Ministers must be elected by the President. However instead of making that direct choice, [the President] should discuss with the state Hluttaw the election of the person who can lead the state government and [determine who is] the qualified person.” said Maroh Sorn, one of the team leaders of the CAFFE project.
The report notes that political reforms, including amendments to the 2008 constitution, have not materialized. At the same time, little progress has been made in social services and economic development, as promised by the National League for Democracy (NLD) government since the 2015 election.
“Schedule (a) of the 2008 Constitution, [in particular] some of the legal sections of the Union should be handed over to the states. For example, economic land laws. Some of the laws passed by the center are not in line with the customs of the ethnic nationalities. Such laws should be enacted in the states. There are many other issues,” said Mi Myint Mon, another team leader with the CAFFE project.
She added that the education system of ethnic nationalities should be recognized by the Union Government, and decentralization of power would strengthen the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement ( NCA) and advance peace efforts.
In southern Myanmar, the state / regional governments should be empowered to solve their problems. For example, the report points out that drug trafficking, and illicit drug use directly affects State level education, families and economic development. Likewise, State and regional governments should focus on environmental protections and forest conservation issues.
The report was distributed in ten townships within Mon State, three townships in Karen state, one township in Tanintharyi region.