Saturday, September 03, 2016

Change to constitution led to unintended consequences

Aung San Suu Kyi's party won a landslide victory in the general election in Myanmar late last year. She could be be the President as the constitution was specially drafted to stop her from taking this office. Her party had to elect Htin Kyaw to hold this office although the real power lies with "the Lady" as she is commonly called.

A change to the constitution requires a 75% majority. The military leaders hold the 25% votes that can block a change to the constitution.

There was a provision in the constituiton to allow the government to create an agency "to facilitate the efficient governance of the country. A simple majority of Parliament is required to create this agency.

The ruling party passed a law to create the office of the State Counseller. A lot of power was given to this office. This office holds more power than the President. Parliament appointed "the Lady" to be the State Counseller.

Here is the irony. The miliary ruler wanted to stop "the Lady" from being the President of the country. She is now the State Counseller and actually holds more real power than the President.

This is an example of unintended consequences. Dictators in power wanted to make the rules that will perpetuate their power against the will of the people. Usually, their schemes backfired.

Can you think of a similar situation in Singapore? Do we have a change in the constitution that also boomeranged and produced serious unintended consequences?

1 comment:

Yujuan said...

"Dun be shy", learn a lesson about ex Malaysian PM Mahathir, who went about changing the Constitution to entrench his power further during his powerful Premier days, leading to the the political situation in Malaysia,
where the PM could reign supreme.
An elected flower vase President is still partisan based, the candidates are selected by presiding Govt.
Race is a very sensitive issue, now a Constitutional change to insist on a minority to be President rotation wise,,next time minority Singaporeans would demand that the PM position should be rotated too, pedigree quality dun matter only, fairness also matters.
A dangerous and disastrous scenario.

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