Yangon: The Myanmar military launched a coup on Monday, detaining the democratically elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi, and declared that it will control the country for one year in a state of emergency.
The intervention took place amid rising tensions between the military, which has ruled the country for nearly 50 years, and the civil affairs in the elections that Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) party easily won last November.
Suu Kyi and President Win Myint were detained in the capital, Naypyidaw, before dawn, party spokesman Myo Nyunt told AFP, just hours before parliament was meant to reconvene for the first time since the elections.
“We heard they were taken by the military… with the situation we see happening now, we have to assume that the military is staging a coup,” he said.
The military then declared, via its own television channel, a one-year state of emergency and announced that former general Myint Swe would be acting president for the next year.
It justified the coup by alleging “huge irregularities” in the November polls that the election commission had failed to address.
“As the situation must be resolved according to the law, a state of emergency is declared,” the announcement said.
The military acted quickly to kill dissidents, severely restricting Internet and mobile phone communications across the country.
According to an Agence France-Presse reporter, in the former capital of Yangon, which is still the commercial center of Myanmar, the army occupied the city hall before the announcement.
Party sources told AFP that in other places, meetings of the Chief Prime Minister of Karen State and several other regional ministers were also held.