Myanmar military transfers power to commander-in-chief

TEHRAN, Feb. 01 (MNA) – Myanmar's military says it is taking control of the country for one year following the detainment of the country's leader Aung San Suu Kyi and President Win Myint as well as other senior figures from the ruling party.

The military's channel, Myawaddy TV, made the announcement early Monday morning and cited a section of the military-drafted constitution that allows the military to take control in case of a national emergency.

The army stated that the reason for the takeover was the government’s failure to act on the military’s claims of voter fraud in last November’s election and its failure to postpone the election because of the coronavirus crisis.

The move comes after days of escalating tension between the civilian government and the powerful military in the aftermath of an election the army says was fraudulent, Press TV reported.

Ruling party spokesman Myo Nyunt told Reuters by phone that Suu Kyi, President Myint and other leaders had been "taken" in the early hours of the morning.

"I want to tell our people not to respond rashly and I want them to act according to the law," he said, adding he also expected to be detained.

“We have to assume that the military is staging a coup,” a party spokesman said.

An NLD lawmaker, who asked not to be named for fear of retaliation, said another of those detained was Han Thar Myint, a member of the party’s central executive committee.

On Monday morning, Myanmar state TV said on Facebook it was unable to broadcast.

The raids come after the country’s powerful military raised the specter of staging a coup as it ramped up demands for an investigation into alleged voter fraud during last year’s election, which was swept by Aung San Suu Kyi’s ruling party.

The National League for Democracy (NLD) won November’s poll in a landslide but has been much criticized by rights groups for its disenfranchisement of voters in conflict-wracked regions.

The military-aligned opposition disputed the results, while the army has for weeks alleged widespread voter irregularities, claiming to have found 8.6m cases of fraud.

MR/PR

News Code 169327

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