Myanmar’s military to ‘respect constitution’ amid coup fears

Yangon, Myanmar, Jan 30 (efe-epa).- Myanmar’s armed forces on Saturday said they would respect the country’s constitution amid mounting concerns the military might attempt a coup.

“Since the Tatmadaw (armed forces) is the armed association, it must obey the constitution. Our soldiers must obey and respect the constitution,” the military establishment said in a statement.

It added that media had misinterpreted a speech given by the armed forces chief on Wednesday about abolishing the constitution.

The statement dampened the coup rumors that intensified since Tuesday when military spokesman Zaw Min Tun refused to rule out the army’s seizure of power after alleging irregularities in the Nov. 8 general election.

The following day, Tatmadaw chief Min Aung Hlaing said in a speech to military personnel that the constitution should be abolished if it is not complied with and recalled coups of 1962 and 1988, interpreted as a veiled threat in a country ruled by a military dictatorship between 1962 and 2011.

Coup concerns gained traction Friday when military tanks appeared in a street near Yangon’s airport and in another central street, a scene not seen in many years.

About a dozen embassies on Friday urged Myanmar to “adhere to democratic norms.”

The Electoral Commission has denied fraud in the November election, which Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy won by a landslide, gaining 83 percent of the 476 seats in parliament.

The new parliament takes office Monday. EFE-EPA


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