On This Day

The Day Ne Win Was Handed Power

By Wei Yan Aung 28 October 2019

Yangon – On this day 61 years ago, the Anti-Fascist People’s Freedom League (AFPFL) government handed power to the caretaker government led by military leader General Ne Win, in response to the instability in the country following a power struggle within the AFPFL.

Ten years after Myanmar regained independence in 1948, the power struggle among leaders led to a growing split in the AFPFL. Finally, the government led by U Nu decided to hand over power to the caretaker government.

During its 17 months in charge, the caretaker government accomplished its main duty and successfully organized a general election.

However, many were unhappy with the caretaker government’s hardline stance, including its arrest and imprisonment of political dissidents and its attacks on rebel groups, which further escalated the civil war.

Gen. Ne Win handed over power to the Clean Faction of the AFPFL led by U Nu, which won the 1960 election. But less than two years into U Nu’s administration, the military leader staged a coup and the single-party military dictatorship continued in Myanmar for decades.

Since then, the military has retained its influence in Myanmar’s politics.