Myanmar military has taken control of the country and declared a state of emergency for a year. The local Military TV reported that the civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi and other senior government officials have been detained. The broadcast released by the Military TV said that Senior General Min Aung Hlaing has assumed power.
The military handed over power to the Senior General in accordance with the 2008 constitution Article 418 (a). The order of national emergency was proclaimed in line with the Article 417 of the 2008 constitution.
The military has justified this action because of alleged election fraud in the recent elections. Myanmar conducted general elections in November 2020 and the Aung San Suu Kyi led National League for Democracy (NLD) won 83% of contested seats. The Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) backed by the military failed to garner majority votes for the second time. The military had disputed the results and filed a complaint in the Supreme Court. This was only the second democratic election in Myanmar after the restoration of democracy in 2011. The first open election in Myanmar was conducted in 2015 where Aung San Suu Kyi led NLD had won by landslide.
“The voter lists which were used during the multi-party general election which was held on the 8th of November were found to have huge discrepancies and the Union Election Commission (UEC) failed to settle this matter,” read the statement by Myanmar’s military released on Myawaddy Television (MWD).
Myanmar was under military rule for decades and democracy returned only after 2011. However, the military still maintained its influential position. The constitution of Myanmar also reserves key cabinet ministries and 25% of the seats in Parliament for the military.
India has expressed “deep concern” over the developments in neighbouring Myanmar.
“We have noted the developments in Myanmar with deep concern. India has always been steadfast in its support to the process of democratic transition in Myanmar. We believe that the rule of law and the democratic process must be upheld. We are monitoring the situation closely,” said the statement released by the Ministry of External Affairs.
World leaders have also expressed their concern over the situation in Myanmar.
US Secretary of State Antony Bilkins tweeted, “The United States expresses grave concern regarding reports the Burmese military has detained multiple civilian government and civil society leaders. The military must reverse these actions immediately.”
“We call on Burmese military leaders to release all government officials and civil society leaders and respect the will of the people of Burma as expressed in democratic elections on November 8. The United States stands with the people of Burma in their aspirations for democracy, freedom, peace, and development. The military must reverse these actions immediately,” read the statement released by the USdepartment of state.
Boris Johonson said in a tweet, “I condemn the coup and unlawful imprisonment of civilians, including Aung San Suu Kyi, in Myanmar. The vote of the people must be respected and civilian leaders released.”