Myanmar's Military Seizes Power in Early Morning Coup

Myanmar's Military Seizes Power in Early Morning Coup”

The 75-year-old Suu Kyi, who had formed an uneasy alliance with Myanmar's military since taking control of the government in 2016, was arrested Monday along with other elected ministers from her National League for Democracy (NLD) party in armed, predawn raids.

In an announcement broadcast on state television Monday morning, the military justified its seizure of power with claims of widespread fraud in November parliamentary elections which Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy party won in a landslide. Myanmar's election commission officially rejected the military's claims of fraud as baseless last week.

Suu Kyi and President Win Myint were detained in the capital Naypyidaw before dawn, party spokesman Myo Nyunt told AFP, just hours before parliament was meant to reconvene for the first time since the elections.

The incoming USA administration joined governments around the world in condemning Myanmar's military coup on Monday, calling for the release of elected leaders, including Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi.

As the Associated Press pointed out, Myanmar's "2008 constitution, implemented during military rule, has a clause that says in cases of national emergency, the president in coordination with the military-dominated National Defense and Security Council can issue an emergency decree to hand over the government's executive, legislative, and judicial powers to the military commander-in-chief". UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, the European Union, Britain and Australia were among others to condemn the coup. "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", White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in a statement.

The coup will also be a test for the worldwide community, which had isolated Myanmar during the decades it was under strict military rule but then enthusiastically embraced it as it moved toward democracy in recent years. "The United States stands with the people of [Myanmar] in their aspirations for democracy, freedom, peace and development".

"The vote of the people must be respected", he said. There was also a sense in which Aung San Suu Kyi, as a political leader with popular legitimacy, was better able to sell the Myanmar people on Chinese-backed infrastructure projects. "We believe that the rule of law and the democratic process must be upheld", the statement said.

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Indonesia's foreign minister likewise expressed "concern" while also urging "self-restraint".

Rights groups say numerous Rohingya have been moved against their will and have also raised concerns over the safety of the island, which is regularly flooded during the cyclone season.

In a letter published on an official NLD Facebook page that is attributed to Suu Kyi, she told Myanmar's public to "protest against the coup", according to a translation by the BBC. Suu Kyi went to the United Nations to defend Myanmar against the allegations.

"The Constitution of 2008 was specifically created to ensure military power was deeply entrenched and protected", he said.

A handout photo made available by the International Court of Justice shows Aung San Suu Kyi appearing before the ICJ in 2019.

Watchdogs fear a further crackdown on human rights defenders, journalists, and others critical of the military. Despite her party's dominance at the polls, the Nobel Peace Prize victor is barred from officially becoming president because of legal requirements set by the military.

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