Follow @southasiaanalys

Myanmar: More on the Threatened Coup by the Myanmar Army:

Paper no. 6744                    Dated 28-Jan-2021
By Dr. S. Chandrasekharan.
 
(This paper may be read along with the previous paper 6743 dated 27th Jan, 2021.)
 
The Press Conference by Maj. Gen. Zaw Min Tun on the 26th refusing to rule out a “military take over” has caused concern both domestically and internationally.
 
The Army Spokesman while not ruling out a military take over did mention that they would take action according to the Constitution and the existing laws of the country and it gives hope that the Army will not go to the extreme length of a military coup.
 
The country was under the military rule for 23 years from 2nd March to 2011 that marked the beginning of a totalitarian and corrupt  rule. 
 
Again in 1990, the Military nullified the results of the 1990 Elections when the NLD won 81 percent of the seats.  The Army kept Suu Kyi under house arrest for 15 years from 1989 to 2010.
Hence the general fear of the people of a possible take over once again once the results have not gone in favour of the proxies of the Army.
 
On the current elections, while Suu Kyi has not responded to the allegations of the Army and its proxies of massive voter fraud, the NLD Spokesman made a cryptic statement that coup is not allowed under the Constitution.
 
The Irrawady of today gave a list of reasons why a military coup in not possible under the present circumstances. The reasons given are quite valid if the perpetrators follow the laws of the Country and its Constitution.  Gen.Ne win did not follow the laws when he took over the country!
 
The reasoning goes as follows.
 
1.  The present Constitution drafted by the Army does not give a right to the Armed Forces to stage a coup.
 
2.  Article 40 (1) of the Constitution grants power to the Commander in Chief after the President declares a “State of Emergency” and this can be done only after consulting and coordinating by the National Defence and Security Council as dictated by chapter 11 of the Charter.
 
3.  At present, there is no such emergency and President does not have to declare an emergency
 
4.  The fact is that no one seems to cherish the Constitution as much as the men in uniform.  It gives them privileges and leadership in national politics without working for it!
 
5.  The military Coup can come only afer doing away with the present Constitution.
 
6.  It will isolate Myanmar internationally once again when the present Constitution was a “safe Haven” for the Military.
 
On the last point, Myanmar had been isolated earlier internationally but it got on famously with China and sanctions did not have any effect.  I still suspect ( no one has contradicted so far) that the Army Chief did talk about the massive voter fraud with the Chinese Foreign Minister on the 12th of Jan.  In this, the Chief had gone out of way to discuss internal matters and was he trying to sound the Chinese?  If one does a benefit analysis of a possible coup, China will gain most. Myitsone dam will be completed to the detriment of the locals and Kyakphyu port will become a major Chinese port for opening to the Indian Ocean besides other benefits under the BRI scheme.
 
It now transpires that the Army is giving a figure of 8.6 million suspect votes out of a possible 27 million voters who voted out of 37 million.  The Union Election Commission says that the voters’ lists checked by the Army are different from the ones the Commission used.  Secondly the Army is yet to give any evidence of specific voter fraud.
 
The USDP - the Army’s proxy continues to demand fresh elections under the supervision of the Army and the Election Commission.  Under the present laws the Army has no role to play.
 
On 28th of January, U Myo Nyunt finally responded to the concerns of the people after the Press Conference of the Army on the 26th.
 
He said “People do not need to worry about the coup”. He added that the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (lower house) and the Government are working to address the concerns over alleged voting fraud.  He said that the Military will follow the law and repeated once again that the Military had claimed that it will not deviate from the Constitution in seeking a resolution to the problem and that it would follow the laws without violating the Constitution.   U Myo Nyunt did not fail to point out that the accusations of the Military are not strong enough and they are yet  to provide solid evidence to support the accusations!
 
This looked more like a statement addressed to the military to stick to the law and the Constitution!
 
On the same day of the press conference of the Military on the 26th, two military linked parties filed a joint complaint before the Supreme Court accusing the  Government and the National Election Commission of election fraud.
 
The two parties USDP and the DNP are both the side kicks of the Army-   the latter is a new party that consists of former Generals and it failed to secure even a single seat in the present elections.
 
President Win Myint and three other Government Officials as well as the Chairman of the Election Commission along with 14 others have been made Defendants in the case.  
 
The Supreme Court accepted the application but it will have  a preliminary hearing to take a view whether the case should be accepted at all, for a hearing.  The decision of the Court is final.
 
There are hardly two days left for the new Parliament and the Government to take over and it will be interesting to see what the Army does now once it had said that it would follow the law and Constitution.  Or why should it when they are going for a coup and not care for international repercussions?
 
 
 
 
Tags: 
Category: 
Countries: 
Topics: