The country woke up to widespread communications blackouts and soldiers in army fatigues patrolling City Hall in the biggest city Yangon. Residents turning on their television sets could only access the military-owned Myawaddy TV channel, with all other news channels seemingly blocked.
As news filtered through that the country’s democratically-elected leaders had been detained in the capital — hours before the first session of the new parliament was set to open — a news anchor announced on the military-owned channel that power had been handed over to army chief Min Aung Hlaing.
In the address, the military confirmed it had detained the country’s de facto civilian leader Suu Kyi, along with other high ranking National League for Democracy (NLD) leaders, in response to alleged voting irregularities in November’s election.
The coup followed weeks of worsening political tensions in the country over the disputed election and rumors that the military could take over had been swirling for days.
Spokesperson for the ruling NLD, Myo Nyunt, confirmed the detentions to CNN Monday, saying that, “State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and some other senior figures are being detained in (the capital city of) Naypyidaw.
“The military seems to take control of the capital now,” he added. Myo Nyunt could not be reached by CNN in the hours following the coup.
Along with Suu Kyi, President Win Myint was also detained, according to Reuters, as well as several senior leaders from large states in Myanmar, including the ministers of Shan State, Kayah State, and the NLD Ayeyarwady state spokesperson.
The coup has been widely condemned internationally, with the United States calling on Myanmar’s military leaders to “release all government officials and civil society leaders and respect the will of the people.”
“The United States expresses grave concern and alarm regarding reports that the Burmese military has detained multiple civilian government leaders, including State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, and civil society leaders,” according to a statement from the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken. “The military must reverse these actions immediately.”
What led to the coup
In its announcement, signed by the newly installed acting President, former military general, Myint Swe, the military alleges that voter fraud took place in the November 8, 2020 elections and said they had detained political leaders for “failing to take actions, not following the request to postpone lower house and upper house parliament sessions.”
Go to the news source: Myanmar coup: Army seizes power after detaining leader Aung San Suu Kyi and ruli…