Myanmar’s de-facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi issued a pre-emptive call for people to reject any coup, before she was detained by the military on Monday, her party said. The military has also pledged to hold fresh elections and hand power to the winner.
Suu Kyi called on people “not to accept a coup”, according to a post on the official Facebook page of the chair of the National League for Democracy.
Myanmar’s military has put the country under a state of emergency for a year. Suu Kyi’s message reiterated the National League for Democracy’s landslide victory in the November 2020 election.
The Facebook post noted the military’s actions could jeopardise the country’s efforts to fight a coronavirus outbreak. Myanmar has registered more than 140,000 cases and more than 3,000 deaths.
The post said she had not accepted a controversial army-scripted 2008 constitution, but had abided by it since entering parliament.
The constitution carved out a powerful ongoing political role for the military, giving them control of the key interior, border and defence ministries and a bloc of parliamentary seats.
Suu Kyi and her government had been trying to amend the charter since winning the 2015 election, with little success.
During the last term, she circumvented a constitutional clause that prevented her from assuming the presidency by taking the de facto leadership role of “state counsellor”.
We will perform real multi-party democracy… with complete balance and fairness
Meanwhile, Myanmar’s army said it will hold fresh elections and hand power to the winning party once a year-long state of emergency has elapsed, hours after carrying out a coup.
“We will perform real multi-party democracy… with complete balance and fairness,” a statement on the army’s official Facebook page said.
The military claims last year’s election, which saw Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy win in a landslide, was riddled with massive voter fraud.
The statement was issued hours after the army took power, detaining de facto leader Suu Kyi, declaring a state of emergency and appointing ex-general Myint Swe as acting president.
It said that power will be transferred to the winning party after “holding a free and fair general election and the emergency provisions period is complete.”
© Agence France-Presse