The elected people’s representatives of Burma’s last free and fair elections of 1990 are now forming a new
cabinet for the exile government representing pro-democracy movement, especially the movement in exile. And it
opens up an opportunity, as well as the need, to discuss a lot of important and crucial issues.
No government in any democracy system can ever be formed legitimately if it is formed without a mandate
given in a free and fair election by the people whom they claim to represent.
As there are, basically, two types of democratic systems _ American style Presidential system and British style
parliamentary system_ Burmese exile government is formed along the lines of a British style parliamentary system,
because it is the system adopted by the founding fathers of the new modern nation of Burma when it became
Independent in 1948.
In the British style parliamentary system, not only the prime minister but also all other ministers must be
democratically elected members of the Parliament.
So even if the new cabinet needs to include non-elected persons without mandate_ e.g. intellectuals,
technocrats and ethnic leaders_ the core of the cabinet should be composed mainly of elected people’s
representatives, with the non-elected persons complimenting and re-enforcing the cabinet core.
Daw Aung San Suu Kyi
People’s adoration and love for Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, the daughter of the founding father of their country
and the unrivalled champion of their pro-democracy struggle, prompted them in 1990 to come out in droves and vote
overwhelmingly for her party National League for Democracy NLD and its allies.
Although the results of 1990 election have become twenty years old, people’s respect and admiration to Daw
Aung San Suu Kyi remains still fresh and strong. The monks who organized 2007’s massive people power uprising,
known as the Saffron Revolution, marched down daily during the uprising, through barbed-wire barricades and forests
of bayonets from gun-totting soldiers, towards Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s residence, where she is kept under house-
arrest, to get motivations and blessings from her.
So, in addition to maintaining its ‘1990’ election mandate, the exile government must also be able to show that
it represents the personal authority of the people’s unparalleled leader, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.
The main essence of Burma’s democracy movement is its strict non-violent nature.
People rose up again and again in Burma to show resentment against successive military regimes, but they
mainly use peaceful method only. And their leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi preaches, and practises herself, the noble
principle of peaceful non-violence struggle.
And twenty-first century world is not a place for violent revolutions. The international community these days
expects peaceful transitions towards democracy around the world. So the exile government must keep up Daw Aung
San Suu Kyi’s non-violent ways.
Since the inception of Burma’s Independence, the ethnic nationalities got a solemn promise from the nation’s
founding father Aung San that they would be able to enjoy federalism and self-determination. But after Aung San’s
death, military regimes have kept ethnic nationalities under a unitary authoritarian control. As the decades long civil
war which immediately followed Aung San’s death has shown, Burma’s problems will never be solved fully until and
unless ethnic nationalities achieve their promised federalism.