Myanmar’s fragile democracy has plunged into darkness once more after a swiftly executed February 1 military coup in which dozens of politicians including President Win Myint and de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi were detained.
The country’s generals, led by Min Aung Hlaing, had disputed the results of the November 8 election, in a bizarre echo of former US president Donald Trump’s baseless claims of electoral fraud. They claimed the National League for Democracy’s (NLD) formation of a government was an attempt to forcibly seize state power, although international organisations declared the election fair and credible.
Suu Kyi and her NLD party had once more confounded observers by winning and sweeping back to power with an even larger majority than in 2015. It was the second time it had contested a general election since the 2008 constitution after sitting out the 2010 poll. Voters in ethnic states who had been expected to opt for local parties remained loyal to the NLD and its wildly popular leader