Published: 03rd February 2021
What the FAQ: Why did the Myanmar Army stage a military coup, what happens to the democratically elected government?
Myanmar's de facto leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, and other important leaders including President Win Myint have been detained as the military coup took control of the government on February 1, 2021
The Myanmar military alleged voter fraud in the polls conducted recently in November last year. They then staged a military coup on Monday to take control of the government and the country. Myanmar's de facto leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, and others including President Win Myint have been detained and locked up in their respective houses, as per reports. But what does this mean for the country?
Here, we try to explain numerous concerns raised after the coup took place.
What is a military coup?
Ans: A coup is simply defined as an overthrow or takeover. It is the removal and seizure of a government and its powers. Typically, it is an illegal, unconstitutional seizure of power by a political faction, the military, or a dictator. What happened at Myanmar is a military coup, which means a coup organised and carried out by members of the armed forces.
What’s happening in Myanmar?
Ans: Myanmar's de facto leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, and other top political leaders including President Win Myint were detained in a raid on February 1, in an apparent coup by Myanmar's armed forces. The nation's military, known as the Tatmadaw, seized control of the country. A crisis has been brewing in Myanmar between the armed forces and the democratically-elected government ever since Suu Kyi’s party – the National League for Democracy (NLD) – claimed a landslide victory in the country’s elections on November 9, 2020.
READ ALSO: The military wants us to be uneducated, but we are not fools this time: A teacher in Myanmar on her fears after coup
What does the military coup mean for Myanmar’s democracy? Will there be elections again?
Ans: The country's democracy is still in its initial stages and there are concerns if this could be the end. But it will all depend on what the military decides to do with the NLD now that the party has significant support from voters. After the coup, the military has said it will hold elections after the state of emergency for a year. However, they haven't provided a timeline or a specific date.
What does the Army want?
Ans: The timing of the military coup is quite obvious as it took place just hours before the new Parliament was scheduled to convene. Tension has been brewing between the NLD and the army since NLD's landslide victory in the elections. After that, the Generals might have sensed that even limited democratic experiment in Myanmar was gradually threatening the military’s interests to be in power. The army hasn't been quite pleased with Suu Kyi's popularity among the masses.
What’s next for the country?
Ans: The Army has declared a state of emergency stating that the NLD government failed to act on its complaints on voter fraud. It has also said that elections will be conducted after a year but there is no specific date. Meanwhile, the NLD has called for protests against the military coup. The United States, which under former President Barack Obama helped the transition, has reacted strongly, while India has expressed "deep concern", according to several news reports.