Sunday, January 30, 2011

Burmese Junta Dissolved

. Sunday, January 30, 2011

Man, the world is moving fast right now:

Myanmar’s ruling generals will preside Monday over the first meeting of Parliament in more than two decades, a move that they say completes the country’s transition to a multiparty democracy.

Officially, the opening of the two-chamber Parliament in the capital, Naypyidaw, will mean the dissolution of the junta that has ruled Myanmar since 1988, when the country was known as Burma.

But it does not appear to be the dawn of unfettered democracy. A quarter of the seats are reserved for the military, and a military-backed party controls more than 80 percent of the rest, allowing the generals to effectively retain their power, albeit in a less hierarchical system.

Maybe call it the Russian model? Looks like oligarchy to me.

The military government, meanwhile, is aggressively selling off buildings, factories and state-run companies, mostly to allies and family members of the country’s military leaders. The rush to privatization vaguely resembles the vast sell-off in Russia after the Soviet Union collapsed. ...

David I. Steinberg, a Georgetown University professor and a longtime observer of Burmese politics, predicted that the new political system would lead to more freedoms and openness, but that it would be a “slow and tortuous” process. He declared himself “cautiously pessimistic.”


Burmese Junta Dissolved
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