The National League for Democracy (NLD) on Tuesday called for the immediate release of Union President U Win Myint, party chairperson-cum-State Counselor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and others detained by the Myanmar military on Monday when it staged a pre-dawn coup.
The NLD’s Central Executive Committee said in a statement that the military’s staging of a coup d’état violated its own Constitution and ignores the sovereignty of the people.
“The commander-in-chief’s takeover of power, hours before the convening of the new Parliament, which was about to be attended by members of Parliament who were elected in the 2020 general election as well as military appointees, is against the Constitution. Furthermore, it ignores the people’s sovereignty,” read the statement.
The NLD called on the military to acknowledge the election results and to convene the Parliament, as per the Constitution.
It said the military’s action was “a huge deterrent” to the country’s democratic transition and efforts to build a democratic federal union, overcome the COVID-19 pandemic, and continue building ethnic unity, peace and development.
The NLD won Myanmar’s Nov. 8 general election in a landslide. NLD candidates won 920 of the 1,117 elected seats nationwide, including seats in both houses of the bicameral Union Parliament and the state/regional parliaments, as well as ethnic affairs minister posts.
The military’s proxy party, the Union Solidarity and Development Party, won 71 seats.
In statements last week, the military hinted at the possibility of a coup over the government’s inaction on its claims of electoral fraud in the November general election. It said the Union Election Commission (UEC) failed to address voter list irregularities, which the military claims number more than 10 million.
Prior to seizing power, the military (or Tatmadaw) demanded that an emergency session of Parliament be called, that the government convene a National Defense and Security Council meeting, and that the opening of the new Parliament be postponed. The NLD rejected all of the demands last week. The military cited these as justifications when announcing its takeover on Monday.
After the military announced it had taken control of the country and declared a one-year state of emergency, commander-in-chief Senior General Min Aung Hlaing said the Tatmadaw would hold a new election as soon as it completed implementing emergency measures, and would hand power to the winner of the election.
In a message prepared in advance and released after her detention, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi urged the public to resist the coup.
She said the military’s action completely disregarded the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and was an attempt to reimpose dictatorship upon the country.
“I urge people not to accept the coup by the military, and resist it resoundingly,” Daw Aung San Suu Kyi said in the statement.
The international community, including the United States and the United Nations, has urged the military to release the detainees.
The NLD chief ministers of all states and regions remain under house arrest after being allowed to return home on Tuesday.
The elected MPs are still surrounded by soldiers outside the government guesthouse where they reside in Naypyitaw.
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