Myanmar’s military seized power in a coup on Monday against the democratically elected government of Nobel Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, who was arrested along with other leaders of her National League party for Democracy (NLD) in early morning raids.
The military said it carried out the detentions in response to “electoral fraud”, handing over power to military chief Min Aung Hlaing and imposing a state of emergency for a year, according to a statement broadcast on a TV channel. television belonging to the army.
Aung San Suu Kyi’s party posted comments he said he wrote in anticipation of a coup, urging people to protest the military takeover.
The coup derailed years of Western-backed efforts to establish democracy in Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, where neighboring China also has a powerful influence.
The generals moved hours before parliament sat for the first time since the NLD’s landslide victory in the Nov. 8 election, seen as a referendum on Aung San Suu Kyi’s fledgling democratic regime.
Telephone and Internet connections in the capital Naypyidaw and the main commercial center of Yangon were cut off, and state television ceased broadcasting after the arrest of NLD leaders.
Some pro-military supporters celebrated the coup, marching through Yangon in vans and waving national flags.