The Myanmar military on Monday detained government leaders including State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi and President U Win Myint, after which the government declared a state of emergency which will last one year.
The emergency declaration signed by First Vice President U Myint Swe, who is serving as the Acting President, was announced on the military-owned Myawady TV, reports Xinhua news agency. The state power will be handed over to Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services Min Aung Hlaing, according to the declaration.
Besides Suu Kyi and President U Win Myint, other senior officials of the ruling National League for Democracy (NLD) were also detained by the military earlier in the day.
“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,” Myo Nyunt, spokesperson of the NLD, told Xinhua.
“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,” he said.
The state-run Radio and Television (MRTV) is also no longer working, the channel announced on its social media page. Telecommunications in capital city of Nay Pyi Taw and some other regions and states are also being cut off.
The coup comes after tensions escalated between the civilian government and the military following the disputed November 2020 general elections. In the election, Suu Kyi’s NLD won enough seats to form a government, the BBC reported. But the army has insisted that the vote was fraudulent.
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.
(The story has been published via a syndicated feed with a modified headline)
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