Army leader Myanmar promises elections in first speech after coup

General Min Aung Hlaing, the leader of the army in Myanmar, has addressed the people for the first time since the military took a coup a week ago and overthrew the civilian government of Aung San Suu Kyi. In a TV speech, the juntalleader promised that there will be new elections and that the winner will take power.

When the army wants to hold those elections, the general didnt say there. However, he reiterated the claim that the November elections, won by Suu Kyis National League for Democracy, were fraudulent. The electoral committee found no evidence of large-scale fraud.

Min Aung Hlaing said in the TV speech that the military regime will “form a genuine and disciplined democracy” in Myanmar, and not continue on the same footing as the military dictatorship did in the past. “There will be a multi-party election and the party that wins the elections will gain power, as it should be in a democracy,” said the general. He also wants the electoral committee to be reformed.

Thousands of protesters

Many inhabitants of the country have little confidence that the military leaders will return the power they seized last week. Today, for the third day in a row, thousands of protesters have taken to the streets. They demand that the deposed head of government Aung San Suu Kyi be released.

As far as we know, the demonstrations are largely non-violent, although in the capital Naypyidaw a water cannon was used against the activists for a short time.

Curfew

To curb the protests, the military leadership has set a curfew between 8:00 and 4:00 a.m., for parts of Yangon and Mandalay, Myanmars largest cities. Furthermore, there has been a ban on training for groups of more than five people.

The junta has also declared a state of emergency for at least a year.