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Proportional Representation Plan Modified in Myanmar

  • Aung Ye Maung Maung

Proponents of a controversial proportional representation system in Myanmar, also known as Burma, now say the plan would not apply to ethnic minority areas of the country.

Daw Dwel Bu of the National Democratic Force [NDF], which supports the idea of proportional representation, said the plan would only be used in areas dominated by the majority Burmese people.

"When the [proportional representation] system is used, it will be used only in seven Divisions but not in [ethnic] states and autonomous regions," said Daw Dwel Bu. "That’s why I am supporting it."

Ethnic parties and the main opposition National League for Democracy (NLD) oppose the plan for proportional representation.

NLD member Khin Thandar said the plan would be illegal.

"If we are going to use PR system, it is not allowed by the 2008 constitution," she said. "The current [winner take all] system is the most appropriate system."

Critics of the proportional plan say its proponents are mainly concerned about the possibility of an NLD landslide victory in the upcoming 2015 general elections.

The majority Burmese area of Myanmar is divided into seven divisions, and ethnic areas are divided into seven states, as set forth by the constitution.

This report was produced in collaboration with the VOA Burmese service.