What sparked the Myanmar coup and what’s likely to happen next
Myanmar’s military has seized control of the country, detaining democratically elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi and other senior government officials in a series of early-morning raids.
The military has declared a one-year state of emergency, justifying the coup on the grounds that the November election result, in which military backed parties performed “stunningly badly”, was fraudulent.
Associate Fellow with the Asia-Pacific Programme at Chatham House, Bill Hayton, says the military “just can’t get their head around the idea that so few people voted for the backed military parties”.
“They did pretty badly five years ago, they did even worse this time, something like six per cent of the vote,” he told Ross and Russel.
“Frankly the military just couldn’t accept it. They didn’t believe they’d done that badly.
“In their universe, they just think the election had to be fake because ‘Everybody loves us’. That’s their world view.”
The military demanded vote recounts and investigation into the result, but the election commission deemed the vote was legitimate, and the military staged a coup in response.
Mr Hayton says he expects the military to call another election.
“They’ve imposed a state of emergency and I suspect they may try and call a new election,” he said.
“I think all they care about is rerunning the election, they care about their own position in power.
“Even though they still have a quarter of all the MPs in Parliament, by the constitution, have to be members of the military, they still seem to be worried that the civilian government might take that away from them and they seem to have moved beforehand.”
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Image: SOPA Images / Getty