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Myanmar military detains Aung San Suu Kyi, other political leaders

Myanmar military tanks (Photo licensed under Wiki Commons)

Aung San Suu Kyi, the leader of Myanmar's governing National League for Democracy (NLD) party, has been detained by the military on Monday, February 1.

NLD spokesman Myo Nyunt said President Win Myint and other political leaders were also "taken" in by soldiers.

"I want to tell our people not to respond rashly and I want them to act according to the law," he said, adding that he also expected to be detained.

Sources in the country said mobile telephone and internet data lines in the capital Naypyitaw and in other parts of the country have been cut.

Soldiers also visited the homes of chief ministers in several regions and took them away, family members said.

In November’s general election, the NLD won enough seats to form a government, but the army says the vote was fraudulent.

Myanmar was ruled by the military until 2011. Suu Kyi spent many years under house arrest.

The newly elected lower house of parliament was due to convene for the first time on February 1 but the military is expected to force a postponement.

The army alleges there were 8.6 million cases of voter fraud nationwide during the general election.

The army and its affiliated Union Solidarity and Development Party have ramped up pressure on the election commission over alleged widespread voter fraud.

However, neither the military nor the USDP has presented any evidence of voter irregularities.


The latest tension highlights the fragility of the power-sharing agreement among the Suu Kyi-led civilian government and the military.

The 2008 charter mandates that a quarter of all parliamentary seats must be reserved for the military. It also gives them control of key portfolios like interior, defense and border security.

There is also a provision that grants military MPs the power to veto any proposed charter changes, especially any amendments that would curb their political power.

The constitution also bars Suu Kyi from becoming president because she married a foreigner. However, she has led the country via the specially created role of state counselor and is also foreign minister.

The NLD won a second landslide victory in the Nov. 8 election by securing more than 82 percent of all 1,117 contested seats.

The USDP, composed of several former military officials, won only 71 seats nationwide and has refused to accept the results of the vote. 


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