US Says Myanmar Emergency Extension Prolongs ‘Illegitimate Rule’
By The Irrawaddy & AFP 2 February 2023
The US on Wednesday denounced the Myanmar junta’s extension of a state of emergency, saying it prolonged suffering two years after a coup toppled an elected government.
“The United States strongly opposes the Burma military regime’s decision to extend the state of emergency, prolonging the military’s illegitimate rule and the suffering it inflicts upon the country,” State Department spokesman Ned Price said, using Myanmar’s former name.
The junta on the coup’s second anniversary said it was extending the emergency by six months, pushing back the date for elections under the constitution.
Junta leaders said the “extraordinary situation”, referring to resistance against the regime, has hampered efforts to hold a general election this year.
The regime finds it difficult to compile accurate voter lists because of the resistance attacks on census takers, said junta boss Min Aung Hlaing as he again alleged widespread fraud in the 2020 general election.
Price said the United States was determined to work with other countries to “deny the regime international credibility.”
He also denounced the junta’s version of “so-called elections, which will exacerbate violence and instability and will not be representative of the country’s people.”
The US earlier announced targeted sanctions against Myanmar’s energy sector leadership as part of efforts to pressure the junta further.