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Myanmar junta chief General Min Aung Hlaing has assumed the title of prime minister as head of a “caretaker” government, six months after the army took power Suddenly.
The military commander also promised to lift the country’s state of emergency and hold elections by 2023, against a move that anti-coup activists have said is intended to give the regime international legitimacy in a time in which it struggles increasing cases of Covid-19 and stubborn people’s resistance to his rule.
“To carry out the country’s duties quickly, easily and effectively, the State Administration Board has been reformed as the care government of Myanmar,” the state-run Myawaddy TV said on Sunday in comments reported by Reuters.
Figures against a coup on Sunday rejected the general’s promise to hold an election, citing Myanmar’s long history of previous military regimes that resisted popular and international pressure to restore democracy and for years to to remain in power.
“The junta leader is now trying to mislead the international community and the UN into becoming legal in the UN General Assembly,” said Thinzar Shunlei Yi, an opposition activist. ‘People in Myanmar who experienced the 1962 and 1988 coups in the country know their’ road maps’ well.
Min Aung Hlaing overthrew the government of Aung San Suu Kyi and declared a year-long state of emergency on February 1, after alleging widespread electoral fraud in the previous vote in November last year, calling her National League for Democracy for a second term re-elected. The regime officially declared invalid the election results last week.
Since the coup, however, the military has struggled to exercise authority in parts of the country where it has encountered fierce resistance, initially from mass protests and more recently armed resistance groups attacking troops.
NLD MPs in hiding or exile formed a parallel “national unity government ” seeking international recognition.
A battle between government and coup opponents over diplomatic recognition is expected soon at the UN, where Myanmar’s ambassador Kyaw Moe Tun breaks with the junta and promises loyalty to the ousted government in a speech to the General Assembly in February.
The junta tried to replace him, but the final decision on recognition lies with the General Assembly’s credentials committee, which is expected to take up the matter as early as next month, when the UN body convenes.
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations, to which Myanmar belongs, seeks to end violence and political deviance by five-point consensus plan It is considered skeptical by the opponents of the coup because of the principle of non-interference in members’ affairs. Min Aung Hlaing said on Sunday that he was prepared to work with a future regional envoy from the bloc.
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