MPs demand right to recall elected officials

Political analysts and parliamentarians gathered on October 23 at the Royal Rose restaurant in Yangon to discuss the need for a law guaranteeing the right to recall elected officials in Myanmar.

Political analyst Dr Yan Myo Thein, Lower House MP Khin Saw Wai and Upper House MP Aung Thein participated in the discussion. 

MP Aung Thein said: “Such a law is essentially needed. The NLD won the election by persuading people to vote for the party, not its individual candidates, so personal quality was not considered. The public voted as Daw Aung San Suu Kyi said. Then we won and established the cabinet. The public needs to know who the cabinet members and parliament members are. We have told the public that we are their servants. If one per cent of the public wants to remove us from our positions, they can do that.”

Dr Yan Myo Thein said: “The parliament is led by the NLD and elected MPs. Why do the MPs not talk about the right to recall? As MP Aung Thein said, the election emphasised the party, not the candidates. We were weak at analysing the quality of candidates. Therefore, a law guaranteeing the right to recall should be enacted.”

MP Khin Saw Wai said: “We (the public) have the right to vote in line with the 2008 constitution. The people are the original power holders. Therefore, giving the right to recall respects the original power holders.”

While the panelists agreed on the need for a right to recall, some said one per cent of a constituency was not enough to warrant a recall.