Myanmar’s Military Shows NDL, Local Armed Groups That It Harnesses Full Power, Scholars Say

On 1 February, Myanmar’s Tatmadaw declared a year-long state of emergency and arrested National League for Democracy Party (NLD) leader Aung San Suu Kyi and other top government officials over alleged voter fraud. International observers have discussed potential scenarios in the wake of the military’s takeover.

In the aftermath of the 8 November elections, the NDL won 396 out of 476 seats in the combined lower and upper houses of parliament, leaving little room for political manoeuvring for the military-backed Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP). The Tatmadaw insisted that the NLD rigged the elections, citing 10.5 million cases involving irregularities, something that Myanmar’s Election Commission vehemently denies.

‘NDL Still Has Popular Support in Myanmar’

Myanmar’s new elected parliament was set to meet for the first time on Monday, however, First Vice President Myint Swe, who will now be serving as Myanmar’s acting president, stated that power is being handed over to Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services Min Aung Hlaing. Previously, the Burmese military rule lasted from 1962 to 2011.

The events in Myanmar have demonstrated that the military is still maintaining control over the country, says Liao Chun’yong, director of the Centre for Myanmar Studies at the China-ASEAN Research Institute at Guangxi University.

The military actions towards the National League for Democracy has also sent out a warning to local national armed groups, the Chinese scholar…

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