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Transitions to Democracy: Options for Myanmar (First of Two Parts)

Sunday, 8 August 2021

The 1 February 2021 military coup of the Tatmadaw has put an abrupt stop to the democratic transition in Myanmar. The coup has inadvertently exposed the flawed design of this democratic transition from the start, founded on the highly contested and problematic 2008 Constitution rammed down by the military.

Various stakeholders are now looking for a way out and a way forward. Socdem Asia’s partners in Myanmar have reached out to the network start a discussion on how they can transition after the coup. This special issue of PRAKSIS is our response to Myanmar’s call for solidarity. Entitled Transitions to Democracy: Options for Myanmar, it is a two-part edition that pools together academics, activists, practitioners and politicians to explore the available options for transitioning from military rule to democracy. It also looks at the experience of other countries to derive lessons that can be applied, not only in Myanmar, but in other parts of the Asian region as well where authoritarianism remains ascendant.

The release of the first part of this special issue coincides with the anniversary of 8888 Uprising, to honor all those who have fought for democracy and to encourage the people of Myanmar to remain steadfast and never falter from the struggle.

Seventy-five years ago, Myanmar’s founding father, General Aung San delivered a speech in Rangoon where he uttered these immortal words:

“I believe in the inherent right of the people to revolt against any tyranny that people may have come over them.”

These words were true back then. They remain true until now.


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