Toppled NLD Govt’s Acting Vice President Calls for Unity Against Myanmar’s Military Regime

By The Irrawaddy 14 March 2021

Yangon—The acting vice-president of Myanmar’s deposed National League for Democracy government has warned the security forces and civil servants who have not yet joined the civil disobedience movement to show allegiance to the citizens not to the interests of “a group of people”.

Mahn Win Khaing Than, a former Upper House lawmaker, was appointed vice-president by the Committee Representing the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (CRPH), representing elected members of the Union Parliament from the National League for Democracy (NLD). The CRPH was formed following the Feb. 1 military coup to undermine the legitimacy of the regime at home and abroad.

The acting vice-president’s warning came as the junta’s security forces have been firing on anti-regime protesters nationwide, killing more than 90 people as of Saturday.

In his first speech to the country on Saturday night, the ethnic Karen said: “Now is the darkest moment for the nation as well as the moment that the dawn is close.”

Referring to the deaths of unarmed civilians during crackdowns, he said the CRPH would “enact laws required to defend people’s rights”.

He added: “I want to warn the security forces and civil servants who have not yet joined the civil disobedience movement to show allegiance to the people, not to the interests of a group of people,” referring to the coup leaders.

Mahn Win Khaing Than vowed to cooperate with individuals and organizations to establish a federal democracy and to replace the military-drafted 2008 Constitution with a new charter meeting democratic norms.

The international community, including the United Nations, still recognizes President U Win Myint’s government, said U Tin Tun Naing, one of the CRPH’s ministerial appointees.

“We will continue to implement the administrative policies and plans adopted by the detained civilian government and prevent the illegitimate regime from undermining and harming the people,” said U Tin Tun Naing.

The revolution, said Mahn Win Khaing Than, is a chance for all ethnicities, who have been suffered from oppression for decades, to work together for a federal democracy.

“Despite our differences in the past, this is the time we must grip our hands together to end the dictatorship for good,” he said.

“The CRPH which represents the Union Parliament will draft laws for the people so they can defend themselves [against the security forces],” he added.

The military has declared the CRPH to be illegal, threatening legal action against anyone cooperating with it.

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