Myanmar Army raises prospect of coup after voter-fraud claims

Myanmar‘s powerful military on Tuesday raised the spectre of staging a coup as it ramped up demands for an investigation into alleged voter fraud during last year’s election, swept by Aung San Suu Kyi’s ruling party.

The National League for Democracy (NLD) won November’s poll in a landslide, but has been much criticised by rights groups for its disenfranchisement of voters in conflict-wracked regions.

The military-aligned opposition disputed the results, while the Army has for weeks alleged widespread voter irregularities, claiming to have found 8.6 million cases of fraud.

Military spokesman Major General Zaw Min Tun on Tuesday renewed calls for the country’s embattled Election Commission to provide final voter lists for cross-checking — a demand that so far has not been met.

Mr. Zaw Min Tun said that military chief Min Aung Hlaing — arguably Myanmar’s most powerful individual— has already pointed out “dishonesty and unfairness” during the election.

When pressed on the possibility of a coup, the spokesman refused to be drawn, but did not rule it out. “We do not say the Tatmadaw will take power. We do not say it will not as well,” he said, using the Burmese name for the military. “What we can say is we will follow current existing laws, including the Constitution.”

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Printable version | May 17, 2021 7:25:34 AM |

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