The Myanmar army has clarified that it has no intention of overthrowing the country, despite such speculations continues here. Actually, this explanation had to be given to the army on Saturday, because such speculation was being done here for many days. Significantly, the first meeting of the newly elected parliament of Myanmar is scheduled to take place on Monday. Just before this, doubts have been raised about the Army’s intentions. The situation reached such a point that more than a dozen embassies, including the US and European Union, issued a statement here and appealed to all sides in Myanmar to follow democratic practices. Earlier, the United Nations also made such an appeal.
Myanmar had military rule until a decade ago. This military rule continued for almost 50 years. Therefore, Myanmar’s democracy has not yet taken root. In the parliamentary elections held last November, the ruling National League for Democracy (NALD) was accused of rigging the election. The NLD won heavily, but its victory has since been viewed with skepticism.
It was in this environment that an army spokesman last week did not rule out the possibility of a military coup. The spokesperson was asked if the army would take power in its hand to resolve the alleged political crisis. Fear of the coup rose further when Army Chief Min Aung Hlaing said last Wednesday that the country’s constitution could be repealed under certain circumstances. There is already a tight security in Yangon in view of the parliamentary session starting on February 1. In view of this, the speculation of the army taking power had become stronger.
On Saturday, the military said in its statement that it was committed to compliance with the constitution. The NLD has accepted this statement as an appropriate explanation. Ao San Suu Kyi’s party NND spokesperson Mayo Neunt said his party wanted the army to be an organization to accept the will of the public in the matter of elections.
The NLD’s main contest was in the November election with the Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP). The USDP is considered a political organization of the military. This party has demanded a re-election. It has filed around 200 complaints alleging electoral malpractices. She has taken the matter to the Supreme Court. The constitution in Myanmar was prepared by the army itself. Under this, 25 percent of the seats for the army in Parliament are reserved. The military also controls major institutions. Despite this, the NLD won heavily in the elections held in 2015 and 2020. Therefore, despite having an additional 25 per cent of seats in hand, the army-controlled party could not get enough seats to come to power. Political analysts say that although the army is still politically strong in Myanmar, it is now difficult to get public support for its attempt to capture power. Khin Jav Win, a political analyst associated with the Tampadipa Institute in Yangon, told TV channel Al-Jazeera that if such an attempt was made, it would have a very strong reaction among the public. People’s mind is still reminiscent of military rule and they hate the idea of it. Khin said that if the army seizes power, it may have to face opposition on the streets.
Elections were held for 498 seats in Myanmar’s parliament. Of these, 396 seats were won by NND. Experts agree that this mandate is so big that it will not be easy for the army to ignore it. Despite this, there is a fear of military coup.