March 14, 2017
A close associate of murdered Myanmar lawyer Ko Ni says the constitutional expert was working on a plan to weaken the military’s political power when he was gunned down at Yangon’s airport soon after his return from a conference in Indonesia on January 29.
The revelation is likely to feed persistent suspicions – which have been denied – that the military had a role in the assassination.
Military still holds power
Despite handing over power to a civilian government led by the National League for Democracy (NLD) party of activist Aung San Suu Kyi, the Myanmar armed forces retain wide powers under a constitution it promulgated in 2008.
That constitution guarantees the military 25 percent of the seats in parliament and gives it a veto over any constitutional amendment. It also controls the Ministry of Home Affairs, giving it authority over much of the nation’s permanent bureaucracy.
Murdered lawyer Ko Ni may have found a loophole around the military.