Mon. Mar 1st, 2021

New Delhi: In the early hours of Monday, Aung San Suu Kyi and Myanmar President Win Myint were detained along with other leaders of the National League of Democracy (NLD) party. After which Vice President U Myint Swe who is the acting president declared one year of the state of emergency. 

The Myanmar army claimed election fraud at the reason for the detation, according to a statement on a military-owned television station. According to PTI, Phone and internet access to Naypyitaw was lost, the lawmakers were to have the first sesssion of parliament since last year’s elections. 

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The report said that online news portal Myanmar Now cited unidentified sources about the arrest of Suu Kyi and the NLD’s chairperson around dawn and did not have further details. Myanmar Visual Television and Myanmar Voice Radio posted on Facebook around 6:30 a.m. that their programs were not available to broadcast regularly. An NLD spokesperson, Myo Nyunt,  told Reuters by phone that Suu Kyi, Myanmar President Win Myint and other NLD leaders had been “taken” in the early hours of the morning. 
“I want to tell our people not to respond rashly and I want them to act according to the law,” he added and then told Reuters that was expecting to be arrested. 

In last year’s elections Aung San Suu Kyi’s party NLD gained 396 out of 476 seats in the combined lower and upper houses of Parliament. However, the military holds 25% of the total seats as under the 2008 military-drafted constitution and several key ministerial positions are also reserved for military appointees. The military said that there was voting fraud in the election, though it hasn’t provided proof to back this claim. Meanwhile, the state Union Election Commission of the country rejected its allegations last week.

With the rising tension, the military also declined to rule out the possibility of a coup. According to the PTI report, Maj. Gen. Zaw Min Tun elaborated by saying the military would “follow the laws in accordance with the constitution.”

Last Wednesday, Commander-in-Chief Senior Gen. Min Aung Hlaing told senior officers in a speech that if the laws were not being properly enforced the constitution could be revoked.

On Saturday, the military said that it did not infact threaten stage a coup and accussed unnamed organizations and media of misrepresenting its position and taking the general’s words out of context. 

Meanwhile, world leaders condemned the action taken by the military. “The United States opposes any attempt to alter the outcome of recent elections or impede Myanmar’s democratic transition, and will take action against those responsible if these steps are not reversed,” spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in a statement after U.S. President Joe Biden was briefed about the situation according to Reuters. 

 

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