Source Title: the arrest of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, another cycle of Myanmar politics
February 1 was originally the opening day of Myanmar’s new federal parliament. However, in the early morning of the same day, Myanmar’s political situation suddenly changed, and the military took a surprise action to detain senior officials of the ruling party, such as Aung San Suu Kyi and President Wen min.
On the same day, Myanmar’s military announced that the country entered a one-year state of emergency, and the commander-in-chief of the national defense forces, min Aung Lai, took over state power. Although it seems that the incident happened suddenly, the military has already released a signal that a political storm due to last November’s general election has already enveloped Myanmar.
[a popular election]
After a sudden change in Myanmar’s political situation on February 1, the Myanmar military said that the reason for detaining Aung San Suu Kyi and other senior government officials was that the military believed that there was fraud in the federal parliament election held in November last year. And the military is “acting in accordance with the provisions of the constitution” to “maintain national stability.”;.
On November 8 last year, Myanmar held the federal parliament election, which is the third general election since Myanmar’s political transformation in 2010 and the second parliamentary election after Myanmar’s first open competition in 2015.
The parliament of the union of Myanmar consists of the people’s house (lower house) and the people’s house (upper house), with a total of 664 seats (including military non elected seats), including 440 seats in the people’s house and 224 seats in the people’s house. According to the final vote counting results released by the election commission of the union of Myanmar on the evening of November 14 last year, among the 476 seats in the Federal Parliament, the ruling party NLD led by Aung San Suu Kyi won 396 seats, including 258 seats in the people’s house and 138 seats in the people’s house, far more than half of which can continue to be in power.
However, this is not the end of the matter, a familiar political undercurrent began to surge in Myanmar. Myanmar’s military held a press conference on January 26, claiming that there was a suspicion of fraud in last November’s general election, and that it also held evidence, including “questionable votes” such as no identity verification voting and repeated voting;.
On January 27, the Burmese military once again stated that if it failed to meet the military’s investigation requirements, the military would take action;. On the same day, in an online speech to the faculty and students of the National Defense University, Myanmar’s military leader and commander-in-chief of the national defense forces, min Aung Lai said, “the constitution is the mother law of the law, so we must respect and abide by its relevant provisions. If not, it must be abolished. &”This was immediately interpreted by public opinion as a possible coup by the military.
On January 28, the election commission of the union of Myanmar responded by denying the military’s accusation of election fraud, saying that the voter list in the general election was not enough to constitute election fraud, and pointed out that the general election was held fairly and transparently under the supervision of observers, and no evidence was found to affect the credibility of the election.
The “controversy” about that election became the fuse of this sudden change in Myanmar’s political situation.
A reincarnation of political destiny
For Aung San Suu Kyi and her Democratic League, winning last November’s general election was expected. Since the 1960s, Myanmar has experienced nearly half a century of military rule. It was not until the 2010 general election that Myanmar ended its military rule and ushered in political transformation.
Aung San Suu Kyi, who had been under house arrest for more than 15 years by the military government, was released and had a dialogue with the ruling party. The Democratic League led by Aung San Suu Kyi was also allowed to participate in Myanmar politics again.
In the general election in November 2015, the NLD won the election with a total of 390 seats and was in power in Shangtai. However, due to the limitation of candidates with foreign spouses or children in Myanmar’s constitution and the failure of constitutional amendment, Aung San Suu Kyi was unable to serve as Myanmar’s president. In the end, she became Myanmar’s de facto leader as Minister of state and concurrently as foreign minister.
Before the general election in November last year, the public generally predicted that the NLD would win the election and continue to be in power, but its advantage would be smaller than that of the last general election, because in the view of observers, the NLD government has not fulfilled its promise of national reconciliation, amending the Constitution and developing the economy in the past five years. However, in the general election with a voting rate as high as 88%, the seat advantage of the NLD has increased by six seats compared with the last one, while the Gongfa party has reduced by nine seats.
In fact, in the past five years, although the elected NLD government has been in power, the military still has a strong influence on Myanmar politics. According to Myanmar’s constitution, the military retains about a quarter of the seats in the Federal Parliament, unaffected by the election results. Moreover, the military also dominates internal affairs, national defense and border affairs, and the NLD government actually shares power with the military.
The increase in the number of NLD seats in the Federal Parliament is a result that the Myanmar military does not want to see. In addition, the seats of the Gongfa party have further shrunk, which means that the military’s power in parliament has been weakened. When the NLD was in power, an important purpose of seeking constitutional amendment was to change the fixed seats of the military in the Federal Parliament, so as to limit the influence of the military. Based on this, the growing number of seats of the NLD will be more conducive to its promotion of constitutional amendment in the next five years of power, thus shaking the power of the military.
In the case of unsatisfied demands on the investigation of election fraud, the Burmese military had to do the same thing again. By detaining Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, President Wen Min and other leaders of the Democratic League, the Burmese military strongly intervened in the direction of the political situation in Myanmar. This scene is very similar to the scene 30 years ago when Aung San Suu Kyi led the young NLD to win the election by an overwhelming majority, but was suppressed by the junta.