The dictator became prime minister: in a speech on Sunday 1is August, General Min Aung Hlaing wanted to mark the six-month anniversary of the military coup of 1is February by proclaiming himself head of a “provisional government”. In the process, the number one of the Tatmadaw (the Burmese armed forces) announced that elections would be held. “By August 2023” and insured “Work to establish a democratic multiparty system” …
The experts did not fail to notice that, on the day of the putsch, it had been announced that a poll would take place. “Within two years” : This deadline set for August therefore already delays the holding of a possible electoral consultation by six months. According to the Constitution, adopted in 2008 under the previous military regime, the state of emergency in force cannot last more than two years; after this period, elections must be held within six months. The decision therefore amounts to extending this state of emergency for another two years. Initially, it had been promulgated for one year, the day after the coup.
The future of NLD in question
Whatever the date of the poll, it should be meaningless anyway: it is more than likely that the National League for Democracy (NLD), the party of former leader Aung San Suu Kyi – now assigned to residence and charged with ten counts -, be dissolved by then. However, an election without the NLD – whose popularity allowed it to triumphantly win the 2015 and 2020 polls – will be stripped of any democratic legitimacy.
It is precisely the magnitude of the victory of the NLD in the ballot of November 8, 2020 which had prompted General Min to put an end to a singular parenthesis of coexistence between the army and an elected government: the head of the army had then claimed that the vote was tainted with electoral fraud and that the NLD had, at the time, as he reiterated in his speech on Sunday, “Inappropriately abused his executive power”. The regime officially annulled the election results on July 26, while instructing a new electoral commission to organize an upcoming election.
State television came on Sunday to corroborate the statements of the master of Burma, who until then held the position of head of the State Administration Council (CAS), the official name of the regime since the putsch. “In order for the affairs of the country to be managed quickly and efficiently, the State Administrative Council has been transformed into a provisional government”, a presenter said, reading his text on the screen.
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