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Updated February 9th, 2021 at 13:52 IST

Myanmar army general justifies coup citing 'voter fraud' as demonstrations grow

In the first televised remarks since junta took over Myanmar, army chief insisted that a coup to oust nation’s civilian leaders was justified by 'voter fraud'.

Aanchal Nigam
Myanmar
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In the first televised remarks since the junta took over Myanmar, army chief on Monday insisted that a coup to oust the Southeast Asian nation’s civilian leaders was justified by 'voter fraud' but further pleaded to hand back power after elections. On February 1, Myanmar army General Min Aung Hlaing had declared a state of emergency, seizing power. The Army claimed that the civilian leaders had remained unsuccessful to properly investigate the allegations of November general elections being ‘rigged’.

"In order to maintain and protect the democratic system, Tamataw (the armed forces) in line with the 2008 constitution declared a state of emergency," he reportedly said even as nationwide protests intensified demanding the release of civilian leaders.

Myanmar was engulfed in chaos last Monday as its military took over the power announcing a one-year state of emergency with reports stating that State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi and other government leaders have been detained. In the run-up to the November 2020 election, Army chief Min Aung Hlaing, who has acquired the power of the nation now, had claimed that civilian government was making "unacceptable mistakes". 

Suu Kyi had even reacted to the crisis and urged the people to not be intimidated and her party, National League for Democracy (NLD) emerged victoriously. However, the military alleged that the elections were full of ‘irregularities’ and questioned the veracity of at least 9 million votes cast in November 2020 even though the country’s election commission rejected the claims of fraud. Myanmar military stressed that it will protect and abide by its constitution. 

Read - 'We Stand With People': US Raises Concern Over Ban On Public Gatherings In Myanmar

Read - Myanmar Demonstrators Defy Ban On Gatherings After Military Warns Of 'action'

New Zealand suspends political ties with Myanmar

After nearly eight days of military taking power of Myanmar, New Zealand on February 9 announced the suspension of all “high-level military” and political contacts with the Southeast Asian nation. Marking the first international move against Myanmar after the coup, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern took the stringent decision of isolating the country’s ruling junta. Unveiling the measures, she also called for the entire international community to “strongly condemn what we’re seeing happen in Myanmar”, according to Radio New Zealand. The military seized power of the country on February 1, arresting prominent leaders of the civilian government and declaring a state of emergency for a year. 

Read - Myanmar Protesters March Again, Defying Ban On Gatherings

Read - New Zealand Suspends All 'high-level Military, Political Contact' With Myanmar After Coup

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Published February 9th, 2021 at 13:52 IST

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