Myanmar Explained: How A Coup Followed Unproven Allegations Of Voter Fraud

Clay Curtis
February 3, 2021

On Monday, the recently elected government in Myanmar was overthrown by the military.

What was initially planned to take place for just a few minutes extended to more than a quarter-hour in several neighborhoods of Yangon.

We stand with the people of Myanmar who want to see a democratic future.

Either way, China was already on a diplomatic roll with the civilian government led by Suu Kyi, who in recent years was a regular visitor to Beijing.

While she has remained immensely popular at home, that compromise has lost her supporters overseas and raises the question of if and how she might lead the country out of the latest crisis.

"We are deeply concerned by the detention of political leaders and civil society activists, including State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi and President Win Myint, and targeting of the media", it added. They included shouts wishing Suu Kyi good health and calling for freedom. His comments couldn't immediately be confirmed. State Department officials said there was no evidence of widespread fraud and said the coup was timed to prevent Monday's scheduled convening of parliament.

The generals cited claims of fraud in November elections, which Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy party won by a landslide. It claims the takeover was legal. The move was widely condemned overseas.

The U.S. removed sanctions on Myanmar over the past decade based on "progress toward democracy", according to the statement. The United States already has sanctioned numerous country's military leaders and withheld assistance from the military overall. Monks are a powerful political force in Buddhist-majority Myanmar. Vice Senior General Soe Win will be its vice chair.

"These people, they are super insane to do this".

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"So our fear is that the events may make the situation worse for them", he said. "Their only priority is power and their personal desire".

And even though Suu Kyi continued a suspension of a major $3.6 billion dam project that has been steeped in controversy for a decade, her government was courting Chinese investment for other major projects under Xi Jinping's "Belt and Road" infrastructure initiative.

Monday's military takeover temporarily cut communications into the country.

US President Joe Biden, facing his first global crisis since taking office less than two weeks ago, has threatened new sanctions against the generals, and the State Department said it would review its foreign assistance to the southeast Asian country.

Aung San Suu Kyi was mobbed by gleeful crowds when she visited Thailand in 2012, her first trip overseas after being released from house arrest. "I feel like I'm powerless", he said.

Gen. Min Aung Hlaing, commander-in-chief of the military and overseer of Sunday's crackdown, is himself a target of Magnitsky sanctions, which ban him from traveling to the USA or doing business in this country.

The coup followed a landslide win for Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy (NLD) in November 8 elections, a result the military has refused to accept citing unsubstantiated allegations of fraud.

India, Australia and the United States condemned the actions. Diplomats said that was the key element of a draft statement for the council to release, along with a call for the immediate release of all those detained. "I certainly hope that we will be able to speak with one voice".

The country's position on the Indian ocean would help China bypass a potential future United States military shipping blockade in the Malacca Strait for oil and other resources.

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