Report 238 / Asia

缅甸:风雨欲来

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缅甸的国家领导一直在向世人证明,他们有让缅甸坚决脱离过去独裁统治的政治决心和愿景,然而民主之路困难重重。吴登盛总统已经宣布,缅甸的变革没有回头路,并努力与反对党建立持久伙伴关系。虽然缅甸改革进程尚未完善,但政府已经释放政治犯,缩减黑名单,实施自由集会法案,并取消了媒体审查制度。尽管如此,广泛蔓延在若开邦的那些主要针对罗辛亚穆斯林少数民族的种族暴力事件却给改革进程笼罩上一层阴影,族群关系如有任何进一步的分裂都可能威胁到缅甸的稳定。在缅甸其他地区,随着自由度的放宽,许多地方冲突逐渐暴露,导致社会紧张局势日益加剧。克钦邦的停火协议进展尚不明朗。政治领袖们在根据宪法分配权力和2015年大选后的权力重组上各持己见。缅甸现在需要一位道德领袖以缓和紧张局势,同时,若要避免政府各权力派系之间形成分裂性敌对还需要各方达成新的和解。

吴登盛总统通过第一次内阁重组逐步巩固了自己的威信。那些被认为过于保守或表现欠佳的部长们被晾在一边,而许多新的副部长官员得到任命。更多技术官僚得以担任这些职位,同时也出现了缅甸历史上第一位女部长。总统还召集了一批他最信任的内阁成员在身边,成立了“超级部长”小组,广泛负责政府事务的各个领域,他的这一举动可能部分出于他要针对议会巩固自身地位的企图。由总统任命成员组成的宪法法庭做出了一项有争议的判决,由此引发的争论导致一些法庭成员遭到弹劾诉讼,并最终辞职,这凸显了立法机构的权力,以及政治体系在转型中所面临的风险,因为新组建的部门会不断试探其上级的底线。

缅甸的转型速度迅猛,并且也显然没有遇到来自政权内部(包括军方在内)的重大阻力。当然缅甸的转型也不可避免地面临艰巨挑战。若开邦持续不断的族群骚乱令人深感担忧,在缅甸其他地区也可能爆发类似冲突,民族主义情绪和族群民族主义正在抬头,历史成见也再度显现。克钦邦难以达成停火协议这一事实凸显了政府与少数民族武装组织之间实现可持续和平的复杂性。由抢夺土地、地方政府滥用职权引起的民间紧张局势不断升温,对由外国支持的基础设施和矿业项目引发的环境和社会影响的担忧也在加剧。在民众期望不断升高,历史怨怼亟待解决,以及人民新近被赋予集会结社自由的大背景下,缅甸有可能会爆发更为极端、冲突性更强的社会运动。这对缅甸政府和国家安保系统将是一个严峻考验,因为他们需要在维护法律和秩序的同时避免重新唤起民众对于昨日专制统治历史的回忆。

缅甸转型成功的关键决定因素之一是宏观政治稳定性。自1990年大选流产之后,昂山素季领导的全国民主联盟(民盟,NLD)将于2015年首次在全国范围内参选。如果能保证自由公证投票的话,选举结果势必导致旧有权力分配平衡的急剧改变。然而民盟的压倒性胜利未必符合政党或是国家的最佳利益,因为这可能会导致三个重要选民团体(旧政治精英、少数民族政治党派、以及非民盟民主力量)被边缘化。如果2015年大选后产生的议会仍无法真正体现缅甸政治和民族的多元化,紧张局势将进一步升级,进而加剧国家的动荡。

民盟面临的主要挑战并不是赢得大选,而是促进包容与和解。达成这一目标有多种方案备选。民盟可以废除现行的“赢家通吃”的扭曲制度,支持一个具有更均衡比例的选举制度,使议会更富代表性。或者,民盟也可与其他党派——特别是少数民族党派——结成联盟,并达成共识在某些选区避免与其竞选。再或者,民盟还可以支持一个“民族团结”临时候选人在2015年后担任总统。该方案可以安抚保守派,使缅甸向民盟统治的政治体系的过渡变得更加顺利。至关重要的是,该方案也可以为修改必要宪法以允许昂山素季在将来某一时刻当选总统这一做法赢得支持,由于军方对任何宪法修订都有否决权,军方的反对使在2015年大选之前修改宪法的希望微乎其微。选择上述任何一种方案都意味着民盟要作出牺牲,将国家利益置于党派政治考量之上。由昂山素季这样的民族领袖掌舵,民盟定能应对这一挑战。

雅加达/布鲁塞尔,2012年11月12日

Executive Summary

Myanmar’s leaders continue to demonstrate that they have the political will and the vision to move the country decisively away from its authoritarian past, but the road to democracy is proving hard. President Thein Sein has declared the changes irreversible and worked to build a durable partnership with the opposition. While the process remains incomplete, political prisoners have been released, blacklists trimmed, freedom of assembly laws implemented, and media censorship abolished. But widespread ethnic violence in Rakhine State, targeting principally the Rohingya Muslim minority, has cast a dark cloud over the reform process and any further rupturing of intercommunal relations could threaten national stability. Elsewhere, social tensions are rising as more freedom allows local conflicts to resurface. A ceasefire in Kachin State remains elusive. Political leaders have conflicting views about how power should be shared under the constitution as well as after the 2015 election. Moral leadership is required now to calm tensions and new compromises will be needed if divisive confrontation is to be avoided.

The president has moved to consolidate his authority with his first cabinet reshuffle. Ministers regarded as conservative or underperforming were moved aside and many new deputy ministers appointed. There are now more technocrats in these positions, and the country has its first female minister. The president also brought his most trusted cabinet members into his office, creating a group of “super-ministers” with authority over broad areas of government – a move perhaps partially motivated by a desire to strengthen his position vis-à-vis the legislature. A dispute over a controversial ruling by the presidentially-appointed Constitutional Tribunal led to impeachment proceedings and the resignation of the tribunal members, highlighting both the power of the legislature, and the risks to a political structure in transition as new institutions test the boundaries of their authority.

The transition has been remarkable for its speed and the apparent lack of any major internal resistance, including from the military. It will inevitably face enormous challenges. The ongoing intercommunal strife in Rakhine State is of grave concern, and there is the potential for similar violence elsewhere, as nationalism and ethno-nationalism rise and old prejudices resurface. The difficulty in reaching a ceasefire in Kachin State underlines the complexity of forging a sustainable peace with ethnic armed groups. There are also rising grassroots tensions over land grabbing and abuses by local authorities, and environmental and social concerns over foreign-backed infrastructure and mining projects. In a context of rising popular expectations, serious unaddressed grievances from the past, and new-found freedom to organise and demonstrate, there is potential for the emergence of more radical and confrontational social movements. This will represent a major test for the government and security services as they seek to maintain law and order without rekindling memories of the recent authoritarian past.

A key factor in determining the success of Myanmar’s transition will be macro-political stability. In 2015, Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) will compete for seats across the country for the first time since the abortive 1990 elections. Assuming these polls are free and fair, they will herald a radical shift in the balance of power away from the old dispensation. But an NLD landslide may not be in the best interests of the party or the country, as it would risk marginalising three important constituencies: the old political elite, the ethnic political parties and the non-NLD democratic forces. If the post-2015 legislatures fail to represent the true political and ethnic diversity of the country, tensions are likely to increase and fuel instability.

The main challenge the NLD faces is not to win the election, but to promote inclusiveness and reconciliation. It has a number of options to achieve this. It could support a more proportional election system that would create more representative legislatures, by removing the current “winner-takes-all” distortion. Alternatively, it could form an alliance with other parties, particularly ethnic parties, agreeing not to compete against them in certain constituencies. Finally, it could support an interim “national unity” candidate for the post-2015 presidency. This would reassure the old guard, easing the transition to an NLD-dominated political system. Critically, this option could also build support for the constitutional change required to allow Aung San Suu Kyi to become president at a future date, a change that is unlikely prior to 2015 given the opposition of the military bloc, which has a veto over any amendment. Pursuing any of these paths will require that the NLD make sacrifices and put the national interest above party-political considerations. With a national leader of the calibre of Aung San Suu Kyi at the helm, it can certainly rise to this challenge.

Jakarta/Brussels, 12 November 2012

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