Conflicts & War

Suu Kyi’s party calls for release of Myanmar coup detainees

Yangon, Myanmar, Feb 2 (efe-epa).- Myanmar’s ousted ruling party demanded Tuesday that the army immediately release all those it detained, including their leader Aung San Suu Kyi, a day after a coup d’etat brought down the country’s civilian government.

The National League for Democracy (NLD) also said in a Facebook statement that the military should respect the result of the November general elections, where Suu Kyi’s party won a landslide victory by claiming 83 percent of parliamentary seats.

“(The coup) is a huge obstacle to democratic reform (…) it is an act that tarnishes the history of the country and the army,” the statement read.

The army staged a bloodless coup Monday alleging that there was massive fraud in the elections, the second held since the transition to democracy in the country after almost half a century of fierce military dictatorship.

Shortly before the putsch, Suu Kyi, various members of the government, regional presidents, NLD politicians, activists and artists were detained by the military and are still under arrest, although charges against them are unknown.

United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, reported Monday that at least 45 people were arrested during the coup.

Suu Kyi and the president, Win Myint, are under house arrest at their residences in the capital, Naypyidaw.

All new parliamentarians who on Monday had planned to swear their oaths in the first parliamentary session after the November elections are “calm” in their hotels in the capital surrounded by police and military, two members told EFE.

The situation in the streets of Yangon, the most populated city, is calm, with no large security devices observed, as EFE was able to verify.

Most stores and banks, which closed the day before due to the massive influx of customers to withdraw cash, remained open Tuesday with relative normality.

Suu Kyi asked her followers the day before to reject the coup, although there had been no protests as of publication time.

Users online were asked to wait at home for guidelines sent by NLD leaders.

Coup leader and Army Chief Min Aung Hlaing appointed a new interim executive Monday night after the coup d’etat, with 11 ministers, full of former soldiers and members of the Union Party, Solidarity and Development (USDP.) The group has close ties to the army and denounced the alleged fraud in the last elections after obtaining poor results.

According to the state of emergency decreed, the military will maintain power for a year and will hold elections, on an unspecified date, to hand over power to the winning party at the polls. EFE-EPA

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