Myanmar’s military says it may (or may not!) be preparing to overthrow the civilian government after being roundly defeated in the November election.
After its nationalist proxy party, the USDP, was trounced at the polls, the military and its allies have stepped up familiar sounding accusations of “voter fraud!” which culminated in its top spokesman taking the podium yesterday to neither confirm nor deny that a putsch is in the works.
“We are not saying the Tatmadaw will seize power,” army spokesman Min Tun told reporters before adding laying down the doublethink. “We are not saying it won’t, either.”
The military has stepped up demands for investigations into its allegations of voter fraud during the November election, of which no credible evidence has been offered. The National League Party of Aung San Suu Kyi’s ruling party.
In last year’s election, Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy smothered the Union Solidarity and Development Party in a landslide, winning 138 seats in the house to its seven. Within days of the poll, the military refused to recognize the results.
The party was criticized by rights groups for disenfranchising voters in conflict-wracked parts of the country.
Min Tun’s both-ways response came in response to a reporter’s question at a Tuesday news conference in Naypyidaw. He said more votes were cast than there are voters, and brought with him printed copies of what he said was evidence of duplicate votes.
“The military will abide by existing laws, including the constitution,” he said.
Senior lawyer U Gyi Myint said the constitution allows the president to convene an emergency Defense and Security Council meeting that would hand over power to the army commander-in-chief and the 2008 constitution voided.
But, he noted, a coup d’état cannot take place without the consent of the president, who is currently the NLD’s Win Myint.
“It would lead to another 1988,” the lawyer told BBC Burmese yesterday, referring to the year of a popular uprising against the former military dictatorship.
The public was quick with mostly negative reactions to Min Tun’s statements, saying they would further erode the military’s support.
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