Opponents of Myanmar s junta announced a National Unity Government on Friday including ousted members of parliament and leaders of anti-coup protests and ethnic minorities, saying their aim was to root out military rule and restore democracy.
Since the coup was launched on February 1, Myanmar has been in violent turmoil. The coup overthrew the civilian government led by democracy champion Aung San Suu Kyi, which has been in power for five years and will begin its second term after the overwhelming election victory in November.
A monitoring team said that people took to the streets day after day, demanding the restoration of democracy, ignoring the repression by the security forces, and more than 700 people were killed.
At the same time, political leaders, including members of parliament deposed by the Suu Kyi party, have been trying to organize to show the country and the outside world that they, not generals, are legitimate political authorities.
“Please welcome the people s government,” veteran democracy activist Min Ko Naing said in a 10-minute video address announcing the formation of the National Unity Government.
While setting out few positions, Min Ko Naing said the will of the people was the unity government s priority, while acknowledging the scale of the task at hand.
“We re trying to get this out from the roots so we have to sacrifice a lot,” he said, referring to the junta.
A spokesman for the junta could not be reached for comment.
The generals justified their take-over with accusations of fraud in the November election won by Suu Kyi s party, though the election commission dismissed the objections.
One of the unity s government s primary objectives will be to win international support and recognition.
Its minister of international cooperation, Dr Sasa, told reporters the United States and Britain had recognised Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido as the legitimate leader of that country.
“We are the democratically elected leaders of Myanmar,” said Sasa, who goes by one name. “So if the free and democratic world rejects us that means they reject democracy.”
International pressure has also been exerting pressure on the Burmese military, especially from the governments of Western countries that impose limited sanctions, although the generals have long denied what they consider to be outside interference.
The unification government released a list of public officials including members of ethnic minorities and protest leaders, emphasizing the unity of goals between the democratic movement and ethnic minorities seeking autonomy, some of whom have fought with the central government for decades.
Sasha said in an interview with Reuters that the goal is to end violence, restore democracy and establish a “Federal Democratic Alliance.”
Although the military has a nose for the idea of federalism, it has long regarded itself as the core force that unites the country.
Suu Kyi has been detained since the coup, and her only known interaction with the outside world has monitored video calls with lawyers.
The spokesperson of the democratic politician said that although they could not tell her about the establishment of a unified government, he was sure she knew what was going on.