Politics

Military takes control of Myanmar; and announces new elections

In Myanmar, the military seized power after a coup against the democratically elected government of Prime Minister Aung San Suu Kyi. The army has declared a state of emergency. The State television announced that the state of emergency should be for one year. Suu Kyi is accused of election fraud and arrested immediately. Now the Myanmar military is holding a new election but a time has not yet been given. Several politicians all over the world have expressed their deep concern

The military has announced on the official website the organization of new elections and a peaceful transfer of power to the democratically elected government. The statement adds that the military chief Min Aung Hlaing is committed to a “democratic multi-party system.”

The head of government and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi had been deposed today for “election fraud.” Several other high-ranking members in the ruling National League for Democracy (NLD) were also arrested after the military took power. The United Nations, the United States, and the European Union condemned the coup.

According to her party, Suu Kyi called for protests. “The measures taken by the military are measures to lead the country back to dictatorship,” said a statement by the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize laureate published by the NLD. “I urge people not to accept this military coup. ” An NLD spokesman also urged the population to remain calm. “I want to ask our people not to react too quickly and to act according to the law.” He also expects to be arrested by the military.

Since early morning the phone lines have been disconnected in the capital Naypyitaw and the largest city of Yangon. Residents reported failures in Internet services and mobile communications. An eyewitness said that at least a dozen soldiers and several military vehicles took up position in front of Rangoon City Hall. The state television MRTV wrote on their official Facebook account that it is experiencing some technical problems

The US government said President Joe Biden has been informed of Suu Kyi’s arrest. The President’s Office released a statement saying that “The United States rejects any attempt to change the results of the recent elections or stop the democratic transition in Myanmar and will take action against those responsible if the coup is not reversed.” US Secretary of State Antony Blinken called for the members of the government to be released immediately.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said the events were “a serious setback for democratic reforms.” He called on those involved to refrain from violence and to respect human rights. EU Council President Charles Michel also condemned the military coup “The result of the elections must be respected” he tweeted. The Japanese government said it is monitoring the situation but has no current plans to fly Japanese nationals out of Myanmar. Hundreds of people gathered in Tokyo to demonstrate against the coup.

Suu Kyi had won a landslide victory for the NLD with 83 percent of the seats in the general election in November. The army suspects their election fraud, and Commander-in-chief Hlaing had asked the military last week to revoke the constitution if it is not followed. Despite the election victory, Suu Kyi is dependent on the support of the armed forces: the constitution guarantees the military a quarter of the seats and three key ministries.

However, Suu Kyi’s international reputation is now controversial: Among other things, she has been criticized for state discrimination against the Muslim Rohingya. After tough crackdown on the Rohingya by Myanmar’s military, more than 730,000 members of the minority fled to neighboring Bangladesh in 2017. UN investigators concluded that the army had acted “with the intention of genocide.” Suu Kyi admitted that war crimes may have been committed against Rohingya. But this is not genocide.

It was only the country’s second election seen by international observers as free and fair since the end of direct military rule in 2011. After the coup in 1962, Myanmar had been ruled by the military for 49 years.

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