Burmese military leader declares prime minister, prolongs emergencies and promises elections within two years

Bangkok — Six months after seizing power from an elected government, Burmese military leaders declared prime minister on Sunday, saying they would lead the country under a state of emergency until the elections took place in about two years. Stated.

“We must set the conditions for a free and fair multi-party general election,” Senior General Min Aung Hlaing said in a recorded television speech. rice field. “We have to be prepared. We pledge to hold a multi-party general election.”

He said the state of emergency would achieve its purpose by August 2023. In another announcement, the military government named itself the “caretaker government” and nominated Prime Minister Min Aung Hlaing.

The state of emergency was declared on February 1 when the military opposed Aung San Suu Kyi’s elected government. The actions the general said were permitted under the 2008 Constitution prepared by the military. The military claimed that her overwhelming victory in last year’s national elections was achieved by a large fraudulent vote, but provided no credible evidence.

The military government officially invalidated the election results last Tuesday and appointed a new election commission to handle polls.

The military takeover faced massive civilian protests, resulting in a deadly crackdown by security forces that regularly fired live ammunition at the crowd.

As of Sunday, 939 people had been killed by authorities since February 1, according to a tally held by the Independent Political Prisoners Assistance Association. As armed resistance increases in both urban and rural areas, casualties are increasing between the military and police.

After agreeing to appoint a special envoy for Myanmar at the April summit in Jakarta, the movement to mediate the dialogue between the military government and its opponents by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations has been stalled.

Min Aung Hlaing said that among the three candidates, former Thai Deputy Foreign Minister Virasakdi Futrakul was elected as an envoy. “But for a variety of reasons, new proposals were announced and we could not continue to move forward. Myanmar is preparing to work on ASEAN cooperation within the framework of ASEAN, including dialogue with Myanmar’s ASEAN Special Envoy. I want to say that it is done. “

ASEAN Foreign Ministers were expected to discuss Myanmar this week at a virtual conference hosted by Brunei, the current chair of the 10-country block.

Burma (also known as Myanmar) is also suffering from the worst COVID-19 outbreak that has overwhelmed the already dysfunctional healthcare system. Restrictions on the sale of oxygen have led to widespread claims that the military is directing supplies to government supporters and military-run hospitals.

At the same time, health workers were targeted by the authorities after leading a civil disobedience movement that urged professionals and civil servants not to cooperate with the government.

Min Aung Hlaing accused the public of distrust of the military’s efforts to control the outbreak of “fake news and false information through social networks,” with the people behind it using COVID-19 as a “bioterrorism tool.” I accused him of using it.