Myanmar Junta Frees NLD Govt Spokesman

By The Irrawaddy 27 June 2021

The spokesman for Myanmar’s ousted civilian government, U Zaw Htay, was recently freed from military custody in Naypyitaw after more than four months of detention.

U Zaw Htay served as the director-general for the Office of State Counselor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and spokesman for the President’s Office. The former military officer also served as spokesman for the U Thein Sein government.

On Feb. 1, government residences in Naypyitaw and the states and regions were surrounded by military vehicles and the majority of senior National League for Democracy figures and senior civil servants were detained.

Military vehicles were reported outside U Zaw Htay’s house in Naypyitaw and he has not been seen since. However, some reports emerged he was asked to keep his position following the coup but he resigned after one day.

A military source, who requested anonymity, said he was released around 10 days ago from military custody and discharged from his position.

“It seemed he was told to stay out of view and keep quiet,” the source added.

At his last press briefing in Naypyitaw on Jan. 8, U Zaw Htay dismissed accusations of voting fraud made by the military and its allied political parties as a refusal to accept electoral defeat.

“These are the acts of those who can’t accept defeat. The voters know best about the election and whom they voted for and supported,” U Zaw Htay said at the press briefing.

“Those who are making false accusations are committing political suicide,” he added.

A regime source said military leaders were angered by the press conference.

U Zaw Htay also denied claims U Win Myint or Daw Aung San Suu Kyi had breached the 2008 Constitution or Union Election Commission rules while campaigning ahead of the Nov. 8 general election.

Hours before the newly elected Parliament was to convene, the military seized power.

The military claimed mass fraud and voting irregularities to justify its coup and says it will hold a new election.

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