The military in Myanmar on Monday seized control of the country after it detained State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, President U Win Myint and other senior officials of the ruling National League for Democracy (NLD) party, following escalated tensions between the government and the army that erupted after the disputed November 2020 general elections.
The state power will now be handed over to Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services Min Aung Hlaing, according to a declaration signed by First Vice President U Myint Swe, who is currently serving as the Acting President.
According to the declaration, which was first announced on the military-owned Myawady TV, state of emergency has been declared in the South Asian country for a period of one year.
Regarding the detentions, Myo Nyunt, spokesperson of the NLD, told Xinhua: “I received internal reports about our state counsellor and president being taken by the military. As far as I was informed, Shan State’s Planning and Finance Minister U Soe Nyunt Lwin, Kayah state’s NLD chairman Thaung Htay and some NLD representatives of the Ayeyarwady region’s Parliament have been detained.
“Two members of the Central Executive Committee of the party were taken and I am also waiting to be detained as I was informed by our members that my turn will come shortly.”
Meanwhile, the state-run Radio and Television (MRTV) has also stopped operations, the channel announced on its social media page.
Telecommunications in the capital city of Nay Pyi Taw and some other regions and states are also being cut off.
Mobile internet data connections and some phone services have been disrupted in major cities.
According to a BBC news report citing family members, soldiers also visited the homes of Chief Ministers in several regions and took them away.
The military had said that the November 8, 2020, general elections were fraudulant after Suu Kyi’s NLD won 83 per cent of the available seats in Parliament, enough to form a government.
The military had also filed complaints at the Supreme Court against the President and the Chair of the Electoral Commission.
Fears of a coup rose after the military recently threatened to “take action” over alleged fraud, which the Electoral Commission had rejected.
The newly-elected lower house of parliament was due to convene for the first time on Monday but the military was calling for a postponement.
Myanmar was ruled by the military until democratic reforms began in 2011.